Highly sensitive metal ion sensing by graphene oxide functionalized micro-tapered long-period fiber grating
An accurate as well as highly sensitive label-free chemical sensing platform for the detection of various metal ions was demonstrated. The chemical sensor was derived from the micro-tapered long-period fiber grating (MLPG) by depositing graphene oxide (GO) by chemical-bonding and optical-tweezer effects. The enhancement in refractive index (RI) sensitivity as well as reusability was obtained by evaluating the deposition thickness in the range of approximately 97.7 to 158.9 nm. Based on the analysis of adsorption principles, the enhanced RI sensitivity leads to a limit of detection as low as 3.2 ppb. The highest sensitivities for the cases studied using sodium and manganese ions in a wide concentration range of 1 ppb to 1 × 106 ppb are respectively 2.2 × 10−3 dB per ppb and 3.2 × 10−3 dB per ppb. Mixture samples were also studied to evaluate the properties of sensing the doped ions. This demonstration of GO modified MLPG is bound to find potential applications that require sensing of mixed samples and illustrates significant importance in developing cost-effective, label-free, reusable, and real-time chemical sensors.