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Optical Fiber Sensors Essay

1440 words - 6 pages

Optical fiber sensors are very important devices to detect and monitor ionizing radiation in nuclear based technologies such as industrial radiography, nuclear medicine, spacecraft and satellite instrumentation, and also in nuclear power facilities. Reliability of other conventional radiation detectors in space and terrestrial application is much affected by electromagnetic interference and exposure to fire and explosion potential hazards. However the functionality of optical fiber at extremely high dose radiation still a challenge where radiation induced attenuation can be increased for permanent damage of the sensor. There is a need to develop a new sensing material with small dimension ...view middle of the document...

2013). There is a need to replace 3H-based sensor to detect neutron in context of nuclear nonproliferation(Runkle 2011) and silica optical fiber with better resistant to radiation damage (Xue et al. 2012) is the other very close a safe cheaper possible neutron sensor to be considered. In addition, its other characteristic of having low attenuation losses provides a wide bandwidth for long-distance wireless communication so that the exposure of radiation to workers can be avoided during radiation detection and monitoring operation.

Ionizing radiation such as x-ray, gamma, alpha, beta and neutron radiations, are not only harmful to human health(Azzam et al. 2012) and environment(Mothersill&Seymour 2014), but also can damage the electronic devices(Wang et al. 2014). The source of these ionizing radiations are from radioactive materials, x-ray tubes, particle accelerators such as ion beams, nuclear weapons and reactors, cosmic rays from space and from natural rocks and minerals. Exposure of extremely high energy electromagnetic radiation such as x-ray can lead to failure in silicon sensors(Klanner et al. 2013). The increasing radiation induced attenuation can lead to permanent damage of optical fiber(Kovačević et al. 2013). So there is a need to develop better sensors with good radiation resistance such as Ge doped optical fiber sensors in radiant environment.

SiO2 and plastic type optical fiber are two types of material used in any research and development of radiation detector. Silica optical fiber with dopant such as Ge can be prepared by using plasma-activated chemical vapor deposition (PVCD) techniques(Zhu et al. 2011) or by solution doping techniques (Paul et al. 2010). Ge has a dominant effect in sensor photosensitivity. Types of these optical fibers are shown in Table 2 and Table 3. Typical single mode Ge-doped optical fiber glass with cladding and buffer and its application in neutron monitor is shown in Figure1.

The interaction between ionizing radiation and matter such as silica fiber materials will create the emission of photons, charged particles and liberation of heat(Fraden 2010). The ability of this sensing material, silica with or without dopant to convert the nuclear radiation into photon and create the thermoluminescence (TL) phenomenon enables of such material to be used as TL dosimeter(Bradley et al. 2012).

In ionizing radiation such as gamma detection, Ge-doped optical glass fiber sensors work on the principle that absorbed radiation changes produce changes in the photon emission. The same optical fiber connection allows the photon to reach a PIN junction of photodiodes. The use of PIN junction can increase the speed of response in this connection(Chang et al. 2007). Photon strikes atoms in the depletion region of the diode and with sufficient energy, free and hole electron are released and pulled away in an applied electrical to convert current to voltage (Fraden 2010). The changes of radiation absorbed dose in optical...

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