Tapered optical fibre sensor for detection of hydrocarbon spills in seawater

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Three devices based on tapered optical fibres are used to determine the presence of pollutants in water, through the measure of their spectral transmittance. Tapered optical silica fibres, coated (or not) with metallic and dielectric layers (Al or Cu and TiO_2) are employed. It is found that, with our experimental arrangement, the presence of products derived from gasoline spills can be determined when we use the coated tapers. A complete characterization of the three different tapers is made in a wide spectral range (1300-1650 nm) and the wavelengths most suitable to detect and discern the hydrocarbons measured are identified. The results obtained show that these devices can be used for the early detection of oil spills in seawater in an industrial environment as simple and versatile sensors that can be self-cleaned with the movement of seawater.
© (2014)Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). International Conference on Optical Fibre Sensors (23ª. 2014. Santander). The authors would like to thank Drs. M.C. Navarrete, N. Diaz-Herrera and A. González-Cano for the optical fibre tapers manufacturing and their valuable comments. This work was supported by CEPSA (project ref. 161-2012 UCM)
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