A carbon nanotube (CNT)-modified microfiber Bragg grating (MFBG) is proposed to measure the refractive index with a strong enhancement of the sensitivity in the low refractive index region. The introduction of the CNT layer influences the evanescent field of the MFBG and causes modification of the reflection spectrum. With the increase of the surrounding refractive index (SRI), we observe significant attenuation to the peak of the Bragg resonance, while its wavelength remains almost unchanged. Our detailed experimental results disclose that the CNT-MFBG demonstrates strong sensitivity in the low refractive index range of 1.333-1.435, with peak intensity up to -53.4 dBm/refractive index unit, which is 15-folds higher than that of the uncoated MFBG. Therefore, taking advantage of the CNT-induced evanescent field enhancement, the reflective MFBG probe presents strong sensing capability in biochemical fields.
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Funding: NSFC (61505165, 61405161, 11404263); Natural Science Basic Research Plan in Shaanxi Province of China (2016JQ6032); Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships in EU Horizon 2020 (660648).