An interferometric sensor based on gratings on a planar waveguide is introduced. The device combines the advantages of known interference-based waveguide sensors with the simplicity of grating couplers. In the presented configuration, two parallel and coherent light beams, laterally separated in the direction of mode propagation, are coupled into a planar waveguide through a grating. One of the coupled beams is phase modulated using a periodically relaxing liquid crystal modulator, resulting in a time varying intensity signal at the end face of the waveguide. Refractive index changes within the waveguide section between the two coupling regions are monitored by observing characteristic changes in the intensity signal.
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Kozma, P., Hamori, A., Cottier, K. et al. Grating coupled interferometry for optical sensing. Appl. Phys. B 97, 5–8 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00340-009-3719-1