Modelling of light scattering by gold nanoparticles at optical fibre interfaces

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Optical fibre backscatter reflectometry is an important technique for Structural Health Monitoring (SHM). In recent years, increasing the intensity of backscattered light in backscatter reflectometry has shown the advantage of improving the signal detection in shape sensing and temperature detection due to the increase of signal to noise ratio and this approach could potentially be used to improve the performance of an SHM system. Doping nanoparticles (NPs) is a method to increase the intensity of backscattered light in distributed fibre optic sensing. The increased intensity of light backscattered by the NPs needs to be investigated to design suitable optical sensing fibres with NPs for backscatter reflectometry. In this work NPs were added to refractive index matching liquid and tested with commercial NP suspensions experimentally between the tips of two optical fibres. An estimate of the intensity of backscattered light from the NPs in this structure was performed by simulation to give a better understanding of the expected levels of intensities of scattered light from NPs in this distributed fibre optic sensing configuration. We present analytical models based on Mie theory and the Monte Carlo Method. Simulated results are presented, for a broad bandwidth Gaussian spectra shape incident light with a central wavelength around 1550 nm, to match the experimental conditions in this work. The novelty is in developing this model for scattered light by NPs at optical fibre interfaces and the evaluation of the possibility of detection by the calculated scattered intensity levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number035602
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Optics (United Kingdom)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • backscattering
  • gold nanoparticle suspension
  • light scattering model
  • optical fibre


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