Sensitivity alteration of fiber Bragg grating sensors through on-fiber metallic coatings produced by a combined laser-assisted maskless microdeposition and electroless plating process
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This thesis is concerned with sensitivity alterations of Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG), sensors through additive coatings produced by a combined Laser-Assisted Maskless Micro-deposition (LAMM) and electroless plating process. The coatings can also protect the brittle FBG used in harsh environments. The thesis encompasses design, fabrication procedures, modeling and comparison of experimental and modeling results to gain insight into the advantages and short-comings of the approach. Starting with the opto-mechanical modeling, a program is written in MAPLE to analyze the effect of different on-fiber metallic materials and coating thicknesses on the sensitivity of FBGs to temperature and axial force. On the basis of the proper material and thickness, the sensitivity of FBG at different thermal and loading strains are predicted. The optimal theoretical data suggests that if the thickness of the Ni layer is 30–50 μm, maximum temperature sensitivity is achieved. Some experiments are proposed to test the feasibility of the coated FBG sensors. LAMM is used to coat bare FBGs with a 1-2 μm thick conductive silver layer followed by the electroless nickel plating process to increase layer thickness to a desired level ranging from 1 to 80 μm. Our analytical and experimental results suggest that the temperature sensitivity of the coated FBG with 1 μm Ag and 33 μm Ni is increased almost twice compared to a bare FBG with sensitivity of 0.011±0.001 nm/°C. On the contrary, the force sensitivity is decreased; however, this sensitivity reduction is less than values reported in the literature.