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  • Received: Apr. 16, 2020

    Accepted: Jul. 26, 2020

    Posted: Jul. 27, 2020

    Published Online: Sep. 11, 2020

    The Author Email: Bai-Ou Guan (

    DOI: 10.1364/PRJ.394941

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    Jun Ma, Yang He, Xue Bai, Li-Peng Sun, Kai Chen, Kyunghwan Oh, Bai-Ou Guan. Flexible microbubble-based Fabry–Pérot cavity for sensitive ultrasound detection and wide-view photoacoustic imaging[J]. Photonics Research, 2020, 8(10): 10001558

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Photonics Research, Vol. 8, Issue 10, 10001558 (2020)

Flexible microbubble-based Fabry–Pérot cavity for sensitive ultrasound detection and wide-view photoacoustic imaging

Jun Ma1, Yang He1, Xue Bai1, Li-Peng Sun1, Kai Chen1, Kyunghwan Oh2, and Bai-Ou Guan1,*

Author Affiliations

  • 1Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Optical Fiber Sensing and Communications, Institute of Photonics Technology, Jinan University, Guangzhou 511443, China
  • 2Photonic Device Physics Laboratory, Department of Physics, Yonsei University, Seoul 033722, South Korea


Interaction of acoustic waves and microbubbles occurs in numerous biomedical applications including ultrasound imaging, drug delivery, lithotripsy treatment, and cell manipulation, wherein the acoustically driven microbubbles routinely act as active microscale oscillators or actuators. In contrast, microbubbles were utilized here as passive receivers to detect broadband ultrasound waves in aqueous environments. The microbubble was photothermally generated on a microstructured optical fiber (MOF) tip, forming a flexible Fabry–Pérot cavity whose gas–water interface was sensitive to ultrasound waves. The MOF severed as both a low-loss waveguide and a compact light condenser, allowing high-efficiency generation and stabilization of ultrasmall microbubbles. Integrated with all-fiber interferometry, a 10 μm diameter microbubble exhibited a low noise-equivalent pressure level of 3.4 mPa/Hz1/2 and a broad bandwidth of 0.8 MHz, capable of detecting weak ultrasounds emitted from red blood cells irradiated by pulsed laser light. With advantages of high sensitivity, compact size, and low cost, the microbubble-based ultrasound sensor has great potential in biomedical imaging and sensing applications.

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