13 May 2010 Light coupling for integrated optical waveguide-based sensors
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The performance of an optical sensor device working on the basis of integrated waveguides relies on the efficient coupling of light into and out of the waveguide. Conventional coupling methods are based on the usage of optical components such as prisms or gratings. An alternative approach utilizes fluorescent molecules inside the core material of the waveguide, and thereby avoids complex and time consuming alignment procedures. In that context the application of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) enables the effective separation of excitation and emission light due to a large effective Stokes shift and accordingly small re-absorption of the dye molecules. Within the framework of the presented work, fluorescent molecules are used to couple light into a PDMS/polystyrene waveguide system. The dye molecules are optically characterized and embedded into the waveguide system. It is demonstrated that the position of the molecules relative to the waveguide influences the amount of light coupled into the system. The efficient coupling of light out of the waveguide is important to guide the light to a detecting device for directly measuring the optical throughput through the system. Two basic out coupling principles have been applied, end-face coupling and out coupling at scattering layers. The system has also been examined by means of ray tracing simulations, which reveal the influence of various system parameters such as the position of the dye molecules in the waveguide core and optical properties of the materials.
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Michael A. Steindorfer, Michael A. Steindorfer, Bernhard Lamprecht, Bernhard Lamprecht, Volker Schmidt, Volker Schmidt, Tobias Abel, Tobias Abel, Torsten Mayr, Torsten Mayr, Joachim R. Krenn, Joachim R. Krenn, } "Light coupling for integrated optical waveguide-based sensors", Proc. SPIE 7726, Optical Sensing and Detection, 77261S (13 May 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.854163; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.854163

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