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Title: Multifunctional smart optical fibers : materials, fabrication, and sensing applications
Authors: Liu, ZY 
Zhang, ZF
Tam, HY 
Tao, XM
Keywords: Specialty optical fibers
Polymer optical fibers
Soft-glass fibers
Fiber Bragg grating
Fiber sensors
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
Source: Photonics, June 2019, v. 6, no. 2, 48, p. 1-24 How to cite?
Journal: Photonics 
Abstract: This paper presents a review of the development of optical fibers made of multiple materials, particularly including silica glass, soft glass, polymers, hydrogels, biomaterials, Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), and Polyperfluoro-Butenylvinyleth (CYTOP). The properties of the materials are discussed according to their various applications. Typical fabrication techniques for specialty optical fibers based on these materials are introduced, which are mainly focused on extrusion, drilling, and stacking methods depending on the materials' thermal properties. Microstructures render multiple functions of optical fibers and bring more flexibility in fiber design and device fabrication. In particular, micro-structured optical fibers made from different types of materials are reviewed. The sensing capability of optical fibers enables smart monitoring. Widely used techniques to develop fiber sensors, i.e., fiber Bragg grating and interferometry, are discussed in terms of sensing principles and fabrication methods. Lastly, sensing applications in oil/gas, optofluidics, and particularly healthcare monitoring using specialty optical fibers are demonstrated. In comparison with conventional silica-glass single-mode fiber, state-of-the-art specialty optical fibers provide promising prospects in sensing applications due to flexible choices in materials and microstructures.
EISSN: 2304-6732
DOI: 10.3390/photonics6020048
Rights: © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
The following publication Liu, Z.; Zhang, Z.F.; Tam, H.-Y.; Tao, X. Multifunctional Smart Optical Fibers: Materials, Fabrication, and Sensing Applications. Photonics 2019, 6, 48, 1-24 is available at
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