From Event: SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications, 2017
We propose a plasmo-thermomechanical mid-infrared detector operating at 4.3 μm wavelength. The design utilizes an array of the bimetallic fishbone nanowires that are suspended 50 nm above a 1.5 μm × 0.3 μm silicon nitride waveguide to create a leaky wave radiation. Moreover, the thermo-mechanically actuated nanowire will induce evanescent wave modulation that can be detected by the leaky wave or transmitted power of the waveguide. The antenna has a strip length of 1.77 μm and can yield an absorption coefficient of 42.4% with a period of 3.1 μm. Six unit cells are connected by a nanowire, and the fishbone-like nanowires are clamped at the two ends, leaving the center free to bend. The mid-infrared energy is absorbed by the resonant metallic antennas, resulting in a temperature increment. The mismatch of the thermal expansion coefficients of the bimetallic materials, gold and nickel, actuates the nanowire, and thus changes the gap between the nanowire and the waveguide. The deformation of the nanowire modulates the waveguide evanescent field, and hence alternates the transmitted power as well as the leak wave power. With a normal incident power of 4 μW/μm2 , the temperature in the center of the nanobridge can be increased over 135 K above the ambient temperature, leading to an elevation of 23.5 nm in the center and thus weakening the evanescent modulation strength. The difference of S21 caused by the gap change is 0.106. This methodology can be applied in other spectrums and the fabrication progress will be reported later.
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