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Photonic sensing, my experience ; Possibilities and Applications

Tom Allsop

11h — Site Valrose

Over the last two decades there has been a rapid expansion of fibre optic telecommunications. One area that has benefited from this growth is photonic sensing, which has utilised the technology developed to meet the demands in telecommunications and was once considered to be telecommunications’s poor relation. However, nowadays photonic sensing is standing on its own feet and forging ahead with new technologies along with promising new and exciting applications. To illustrate the above statement I will talk about specific photonic sensing applications that I have undertaken at the Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies. These will cover various types of sensors and sensing platforms that I have used or created : specifically I will present applications for fibre Bragg gratings, long period periods, surface plasmon resonances and localised surface plasmon resonances. I will cover these types of sensors and sensing mechanisms in three examples : firstly, the use of fibre gratings to monitor respiratory function plethysmography and cardiac-induced localized thoracic motion based upon shape sensing arrays ; secondly, the use of localised surface plasmons for gas phase chemical sensing and ultra-low concentration chemical sensing in the liquid phase, working with carbon nanotubes or a zinc oxide/platinum matrix and aptamers, respectively ; thirdly, using long period gratings with a femtosecond laser sculpted fibre employing magnetostriction to detect the magnitude and direction of small static magnetic fields.