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Applied Optics and Photonics Research

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Microstructured Elements on Fibre-tips

Jun Li, Frank Albri, Robert Maier, Duncan Hand, Bill MacPherson



Microcantilever sensors have recently attracted much attention as a promising and highly sensitive approach to “label-free” detection of bio-molecules without the need for fluorescent or radioactive labeling. In this project we are exploringthe design and manufacture of microcantilevers on the end of optical fibres. The use of optical fibres offers a route to miniaturize the sensor configuration to allow measurement of real-time bending of these microcantilevers in order to enable bio-sensing applications in space constrained environments.


Machined fibre-top cantilever by laser machining and Focussed Ion beam milling

This project also aims to explore 'low-cost' interrogation of cantilever sensors, where we have used simple broadband sources and commercially available spectrometers to record the reflected spectrum from a cantilever sensor.  Processing this spectra yields the cantilever deflection with <100nm resolution.

Labview panel of optical fibre interrogation system



  1. Jun Li, F. Albri, R.R.J.Maier, W.N. MacPherson, D.P. Hand “Advanced Micro-machining Technique for Fabrication of Optical Fibre Cantilever Sensor”, Oral presentation, IONS-11 conference, Southampton,UK

  2. Frank Albri, Jun Li, Robert R J Maier, William N MacPherson, Duncan P Hand, “Picosecond laser machining of fibre based sensing devices”, Oral presentation, ICALEO-11 conference, Orlando, USA


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