This thesis presents the fabrication of a low loss hybrid waveguide electric field(E-field) sensor based on optical D-fiber. This novel E-field sensor is formed as part of a contiguous fiber resulting in a flexible and small cross-section device that can be embedded into electronic circuitry. The in-fiber nature of this sensor also eliminates the need for alignment and packaging that conventional sensors need. An optical fiber can detect electric fields when the core of the fiber is partially removed and replaced with an electro-optic polymer. This polymer causes a change in the index of refraction in the waveguide of the device when in the presence of an electric field. The change in the effective index of refraction changes the speed of the light in the vertical axis relative to the light in the horizontal axis creating a phase change between the two axes. This phase change can be detected as a change in the polarity of the light coming out of the fiber. The sensor is formed by partially etching out the core of a D-shaped optical fiber and depositing a polymer to form a hybrid waveguide. The polymer becomes sensitive to electric fields through corona poling. The typical corona poling process is not amenable to poling a polymer located in the fiber core. A method of poling conducive to an in-fiber device was developed and demonstrated. Using PMMA and DR1 for proof of concept, the operation of the first in-fiber hybrid waveguide electric field sensor is demonstrated. Etch depth, polymer composition, and polymer spin rate are optimized to provide strong interaction between the light and the sensing portion of the hybrid waveguide while maintaining low optical loss. High frequency testing was demonstrated to show that the effect is electro-optic. AC testing also allows the Epi of the sensors to be determined at lower electric fields than are required for DC testing, eliminating charge build up and electric field break down issues.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Electrical and Computer Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





electric field sensing, electro-optic, poling, polymer, D-fiber