Flexible corner cube retroreflector array for temperature and strain sensing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Optical sensors for detecting temperature and strain play a crucial role in the analysis of environmental conditions and real-time remote sensing. However, the development of a single optical device that can sense temperature and strain simultaneously remains a challenge. Here, a flexible corner cube retroreflector (CCR) array based on passive dual optical sensing (temperature and strain) is demonstrated. A mechanical embossing process was utilised to replicate a three-dimensional (3D) CCR array in a soft flexible polymer film. The fabricated flexible CCR array samples were experimentally characterised through reflection measurements followed by computational modelling. As fabricated samples were illuminated with a monochromatic laser beam (635, 532, and 450 nm), a triangular shape reflection was obtained at the far-field. The fabricated flexible CCR array samples tuned retroreflected light based on external stimuli (temperature and strain as an applied force). For strain and temperature sensing, an applied force and temperature, in the form of weight suspension, and heat flow was applied to alter the replicated CCR surface structure, which in turn changed its optical response. Directional reflection from the heated flexible CCR array surface was also measured with tilt angle variation (max. up to 10°). Soft polymer CCRs may have potential in remote sensing applications, including measuring the temperature in space and in nuclear power stations.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7588-7598
Number of pages11
JournalRSC Advances
Volume8
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2018