Sensors based on optical waveguides for chemical sensing have attracted increasing interest over the last two decades, fueled by potential applications in commercial lab-on-a-chip devices for medical and food safety industries. Even though the early studies were oriented for single-point detection, progress in device size reduction and device yield afforded by photonics foundries have opened the opportunity for distributed dynamic chemical sensing at the microscale. This will allow researchers to follow the dynamics of chemical species in field of microbiology, and microchemistry, with a complementary method to current technologies based on microfluorescence and hyperspectral imaging.
The study of the chemical dynamics at the surface of photoelectrodes in water splitting cells are a good candidate to benefit from such optochemical sensing devices that includes a photonic integrated circuit (PIC) with multiple sensors for real-time detection and spatial mapping of chemical species.
In this project, we present experimental results on a prototype integrated optical system for chemical mapping based on the interaction of cascaded resonant optical devices, spatially covered with chemically sensitive polymers and plasmon-enhanced nanostructured metal/metal-oxide claddings offering chemical selectivity in a pixelated surface. In order to achieve a compact footprint, the prototype is based in a silicon photonics platform. A discussion on the relative merits of a photonic platform based on large bandgap metal oxides and nitrides which have higher chemical resistance than silicon is also presented.
Raquel Flores, Ricardo Janeiro, and Jaime Viegas, "Integrated optical sensors for 2D spatial chemical mapping (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10106, Integrated Optics: Devices, Materials, and Technologies XXI, 101060O (Presented at SPIE OPTO: January 31, 2017; Published: 19 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252005.5393342276001.
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