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 023


Title:Micro-fabricated and coated fiber sensing devices
 
Objectives (recommended length: 2000-3000 char):
Currently, few are those who have never heard on optical fiber or that are unaware of their possible applications. Services such as internet, TV and telephone are increasingly delivered to consumer's houses through it. In addition, sensors are another vast application field of the optical fiber, becoming increasingly widespread.

One of the general objectives of this work focuses in the production of optical fiber sensors based on micro-structures fabricated with a femtosecond (fs) laser. The latest advancement in high power fs laser has attracted much interest in micromachining area, especially for optical fiber interferometers, due to its capability of fabricating 3D configurations in various solid transparent materials. This technique has unique advantages, such as negligible cracks, minimal heat-affected-zone, low recast and high precision. Thus, it can be used either to ablate the material or to permanent change the property inside the material. Different procedures may be carried out to achieve these goals, which includes, for instance, the use of different fiber types. Although most solutions are developed in silica fiber, polymeric fiber brings additional benefits in terms of robustness, cost-effectiveness, ease of installation, improved biocompatibility and sensitivity of the devices, partially due to its thermal and mechanical properties.

Another objective is coating the optical fiber with an appropriate material to enhance resistance to wear and corrosion, or to enable the fiber response (through changes in the propagated optical signal), as selectively as possible, to the exposition to a selected parameter to be measured.
This proposal is supposed to provide an opportunity to the doctoral student for developing a research project at an advanced research lab of a long experienced team working on the fiber optics sensors field.

The main objectives are: i) developing state-of-the-art sensing devices and technologies, based on specific requests for real application conditions; ii) implementation of a state-of-the-art micromachining fabrication system based on a fs laser; iii) modelling and improvement of the theoretical understanding of optical fiber micro-machined devices and coated fibers; optimization of the optical fiber coating process with different materials (for instance, diamond, graphene, polymers and composites); iv) design and conceptual development of innovative fiber structures for sensing applications.
 
Framework (recommended length: 500-2000 char):
The photonic technologies have acquired a vital importance in the development of solutions for monitoring. In recent decades, 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 on the monitoring of 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., where the optical fiber technology offers massive advantages over traditional electronic sensors.

In the last years, optical fiber sensors application have diversified massively, originating an increased complexity and performance requirements, such as sensitivity, working range, diversified application environments, among others. This proposal intends to further explore these outputs towards to design and develop of innovative optical fiber devices and tailored new sensing methodologies, essentially following two approaches: the microfabrication of structures using a fs laser and the use of different fiber coatings.

This is also in line with the research strategy of the I3N (host institution), being a strong research topic, and foreseeing relevant outputs. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of this proposal, the consolidation of existing collaborations with other research groups inside I3N and other national and international groups will be promoted. 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 (recommended length: 1000-3000 char):
T1 – Literature review;

T2 – Implementation of a state-of-the-art micromachining fabrication system based on a fs laser;

T3 – Optimization of the optical fiber coating process with different materials (diamond, graphene, polymers and composites);

T4 – Modelling and improvement of the theoretical understanding of optical fiber micro-machined devices and coated fibers;

T5 – Design and conceptual development of innovative fiber structures for sensing applications;

T6 – Thesis writing and preparation for public defense.

 
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:
This proposal is about developing new fiber optic sensors, being inherently related to, and perfectly suitable for the “Optical Technology” scientific domain of DAEPHYS.
Moreover, 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 and taking advantage of existing facilities including a new femtosecond laser system.

 
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?:
no
 
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)
:

 

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:
https://www.it.pt/Members/Index/3007 http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9129-3539

 

Co-Supervisor

Name:Nélia Jordão Alberto
Institution:Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT- Aveiro) / Universidade de Aveiro
email:nelia@ua.pt
 
link to CV or indication of ORCID ID:
https://www.it.pt/Members/Index/3428 http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8176-7953

 

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