Following the Industrial advancements in the last few decades, highly flammable chemicals, such as ethanol (CH3CH2OH) and methanol (CH3OH) are widely being used in daily life. Ethanol have some degrees of carcinogenic effects in human whereas acute and chronic exposer of methanol results blurred vision and nausea. Therefore, accurate and efficient sensing of these two vapors in industrial environment are of high priorities. We have designed a novel, ultra-compact chemical vapor sensor based on composite plasmonic horizontal slot waveguide (CPHSW) where a low-index porous-ZnO (P-ZnO) layer is sandwiched in between top silver metal and lower silicon layers. Different P-ZnO templates, such as nano-spheres, nano-sheets and nanoplates could be used for high-selectivity of ethanol and methanol at different temperatures. The Lorentz-Lorenz model is used to determine the variation of P-ZnO refractive index (RI) with porosity and equivalent RI of P-ZnO layer for capillary condensation of different percentage of absorbed vapor. An in-house, new divergence modified finite element method is used to calculate effective index and attenuation sensitivity. Plasmonic modal analyses of dominant quasi-TM mode shows a high 42% power confinement in the slot. Next, an ultra-compact MZI incorporating a few micrometres long CPHSW is designed and analysed as a transducer device for accurate detection of effective index change. The device performance has been studied for different percentage of ethanol into P-ZnO with different porosity and a maximum phase sensitivity of >0.35 a.u. is achieved for both the chemical vapors at a mid-IR operating wavelength of 1550 nm.
Souvik Ghosh and B. M. A. Rahman, "Design of ultra-compact composite plasmonic Mach-Zehnder interferometer for chemical vapor sensing," Proc. SPIE 10535, Integrated Optics: Devices, Materials, and Technologies XXII, 1053505 (Presented at SPIE OPTO: January 29, 2018; Published: 23 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2290294.
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