Doctorate in Applied and Engineering Physics  

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Thesis Proposal for the

Doctorate Program in Applied and Engineering Physics (DAEPHYS)

Starting in the Academic Year 2016/2017


Proposal 014


Title:Development and optimization of fiber optic sensors produced by femtosecond laser
 
Objectives (recommended length: 2000-3000 char):
The general objective of this work focuses on the development and implementation of a fiber optic sensors manufacturing platform using a femtosecond laser, the development, optimization and characterization of optical fiber sensors and the long-time performance stability study of femtosecond fabricated fiber sensors.
The use of a femtosecond laser in the fiber Bragg gratings recording offers advantages over the conventional UV laser recording, the most significant are the fact that a photosensitive fiber is not necessary to induce of larger refractive index change (three times higher than the resulting from conventional UV laser recording), resulting in cheaper but higher reflectivity devices. To record Bragg gratings in optical fiber with a femtosecond laser, one can adopt two different methods: a phase mask or point by point.
This proposal involves the HBM FiberSensing SA, a world reference company well established in the market of fiber Bragg sensors for multiple applications and measuring units. The technological aspect related to this proposal is mostly related to the long term use, applicability and stability of fiber Bragg grating femtosecond produced sensors, a recent technology requiring further comprehensive studies to a successfully entrance on the market. A great potential is foreseen for such sensors, nonetheless, improved manufacturing methods and accelerated aging testing are mandatory.
This proposal is supposed to provide an opportunity to the doctoral student for developing a research project in a business environment, training research work at advanced research labs of a reputed company with long experience working on the fiber optics sensors market. Simultaneously, it is expected to contribute significantly to solve a specific technological problem identified by the company, namely the development and implementation of longevity studies of innovative and advanced fiber optic sensors based on fiber Brag gratings fabricated trough a state of the art technology.
 
Framework (recommended length: 500-2000 char):
The photonic technologies have acquired a vital importance in the development of solutions for monitoring. In recent decades there has been a growing interest in research in this area resulting in the development of new techniques, instruments and sensors. The fiber optic sensors have proven to be a promising technology in various fields of application. Being durable, stable, insensitive to electromagnetic interference, resistant to corrosion, with minimal aesthetic intrusion, electric isolation and low size, they are particularly interesting to monitor structures under high-risk, aggressive or explosive environments, such as hydroelectric dams, nuclear power plants, oil or gas drilling, high sea or submerged structures, etc., offering massive advantages over traditional electronic sensors. Further advantages of using such technology include the no need for electrical power on the measurement site which can be located kilometers from the acquisition site (only an optical fiber connection is necessary) and the multiplexing capacity, allowing to place dozens of sensors on the same fiber cable, drastically reducing cabling weight, size and installation costs.
The proposed work plan fits in the activity of the research group "Optics and Optoelectronics" of the I3N-Aveiro, with long time experience on the development and prototyping innovative optical fiber sensors, contributing for its expansion and development. The host facilities are very well equipped, with a new femtosecond laser just installed, for the proper implementation of this proposal. Tasks T0, T1, T2, T3 and T5 with be conducted at I3N-Aveiro.
HBM FiberSensing has the proper knowhow and long experience about to produce, characterize and test fiber sensors for commercial use, being the perfect location for the proper implementation of tasks T3 and T4.
Moreover, although some tasks are mostly completed at one location, the support of the other institution/company with be provided during the full programme.
 
Tasks (recommended length: 1000-3000 char):
T0 – Curricular units of the doctoral program of Physical Engineering (to be conducted at the Aveiro University)

T1 – Literature review (to be conducted at the Aveiro University)

T2 – Implementation and optimization of a fiber Bragg gratings inscription setup using a femtosecond laser (to be conducted at the Aveiro University)

T3 – Development, optimization and characterization of optical fiber sensors (to be conducted at the University of Aveiro and HBM FiberSensing)

T4 – Development and implementation of an experimental protocol for long-time performance stability evaluation of femtosecond fabricated fiber sensors (to be conducted at HBM FiberSensing)

T5 – Thesis writing and preparation for public defense (to be conducted at the Aveiro University)
 
Research centre/lab or R&D unit hosting the thesis project:
I3N-Aveiro
 
University to which the thesis project will be presented:
UA - Universidade de Aveiro
 
DAEPHYS Scientific Domain in which the project fits:
Optical technology
 
Relation of the project to the Scientific Domains of DAEPHYS:
The proposed work plan fits in the activity of the research group "Optics and Optoelectronics" of the I3N-Aveiro, contributing for its expansion and development, also, the host facilities are very well equipped (for instance, a new fiber Bragg grating inscription system and a new femtosecond laser were just installed) for the proper implementation of this proposal. This proposal is about developing new fiber optic sensors, being inherently related to, and perfectly suitable for, the Scientific Domain of DAEPHYS of Optical Technology.
 
Candidate profile:
- Demonstrated experience and know-how in optical fiber sensors
 
Does this proposal involve more than one University?:
no
 
Synergies between the two Universities participating in the proposal:
DAEPHYS strongly encourages the presentation of thesis projects in co-supervision by researchers from two of the universities participating in the Program. In this field, explain the benefits resulting from the proposed co-supervision and the involvement of elements from the two universities, e.g. building critical mass teams, profiting from existing infrastructures or advanced equipments, profiting from expert technical know-how, etc. If the proposal involves only one University, write n/a.
(recommended length: 500-1000 char)
:
 
Does this proposal involve a company?:
yes
 
Proposals involving a company:
DAEPHYS strongly encourages the presentation of thesis projects involving a company, preferably a high-tech company. These proposals have to: 1) be centered on a technological problem in which the partner company has been (or plan / would like to be) involved; 2) have a co-supervisor on the enterprise; 3) include part of the project to be carried out in the company.
(recommended length: 500-1000 char)
: This proposal involves the HBM FiberSensing SA company, founded in 2004 and a pioneer in the field of fiber optic sensors based on fiber Bragg gratings. Quickly achieving success it has evolved into a major producer and Bragg sensors supplier of optical fiber for multiple applications, it has delivered thousands of sensors and measurement units over the years, becoming a reference well established in the market, with several distinctions along the way. Today FiberSensing belongs to HBM, a world reference in the area of testing and measurement.
Femtosecond written FBGs are of potential interest of FiberSensing, however, there are few studies to prove the long term use advantages of those relatively to the conventional UV laser written ones, so further studies are necessary for a proper entrance on the fiber optic sensors market. FiberSensing has the proper knowhow about to produce, characterize and test fiber sensors for commercial use.

 

Supervisor

Name:Paulo Fernando da Costa Antunes
Institution:I3N Aveiro / Departamento de Física da Universidade de Aveiro
email:pantunes@ua.pt
 
link to CV or indication of ORCID ID:
http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9129-3539

 

Co-Supervisor

Name:Francisco Manuel Moita Araújo
Institution:HBM FiberSensing SA (Short CV attached)
email:Francisco.Araujo@hbm.com
 
link to CV or indication of ORCID ID:
https://www.scopus.com/authid/detail.uri?authorId=56210175000

 

Uploaded PDF document: proposal-014.pdf