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A high sensitivity refractive index sensor based on a single mode-small diameter no core fiber structure is proposed. In this structure, a small diameter no core fiber (SDNCF) used as a sensor probe, was fusion spliced to the end face of a traditional single mode fiber (SMF) and the end face of the SDNCF was coated with a thin film of gold to provide reflective light. The influence of SDNCF diameter and length on the refractive index sensitivity of the sensor has been investigated by both simulations and experiments, where results show that the diameter of SDNCF has significant influence. However, SDNCF length has limited influence on the sensitivity. Experimental results show that a sensitivity of 327 nm/RIU (refractive index unit) has been achieved for refractive indices ranging from 1.33 to 1.38, which agrees well with the simulated results with a sensitivity of 349.5 nm/RIU at refractive indices ranging from 1.33 to 1.38.