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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


An all optical fiber Fresnel reflection sensor for detecting the solid–liquid phase change in n-octadecane is proposed and experimentally demonstrated. The sensor probe consists of a single-mode fiber with a cleaved end which is immersed in the material sample under test. As the n-octadecane changes from solid to liquid or from liquid to solid, its refractive index (RI) changes resulting in changes of the light power ratio reflected by the probe. Since the RI of n-octadecane during its phase transition changes discontinuously, inflection in the reflected light power ratio dependence indicates the phase change of the sample in the vicinity of the sensor probe. The results of this work suggest that such a simple optical fiber sensor can be used for detection of liquid–solid phase changes in other materials with similar to n-octadecane thermo-optic properties.