17 May 2013 Mid-infrared rib waveguide absorption sensors based on Si
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Abstract
We present a silicon (Si) based infrared (IR) absorption sensor which is suitable for integration into a miniaturized sensor system. The sensor is designed to operate in the wavelength region around λ=5 μm. We particularly discuss the design, the modeling and the optical characterization of the used materials. The sensor operates as a singlemode Si waveguide (WG) on low refractive index Si3N4 membrane. The single-mode requirement for the WG is needed to avoid losses due to imperfections on the WG walls causing redistribution of the carried energy among the different modes. The waveguide interacts with the sample by means of the evanescent field which extends into the sample. This sensor configuration is not only compatible to the Si technology, but can also be realized on a single chip. In addition, the principle of operation is not limited to a single wavelength: by changing the waveguide dimensions, it can be applied to a broad spectral range. Thus, by its dimensions, performance and Si-compatibility, the sensor is expected to overcome previously published device concepts. The single-mode requirements lead to WG dimensions of 2 μm width x 600 nm height for an operation at λ=5 μm, which are verified by 3D simulations. For those parameters, the WG will support one transverse electric (TE) mode and one transverse magnetic (TM) mode. Efficient guidance is only obtained for the fundamental TE and TM modes. As an example, it is shown that mode TE1 is a non-guided mode. The experimentally obtained WG dimensions are 605 nm height and 2 μm width. In our paper we discuss issues with the design, the material characterization and first experimental results obtained with the recently fabricated prototypes.
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Ventsislav Lavchiev, Christian Kristament, Markus Brandstetter, Georg Ramer, Bernhard Lendl, Ursula Hedenig, Thomas Grille, Peter Irsigler, Bernhard Jakoby, "Mid-infrared rib waveguide absorption sensors based on Si", Proc. SPIE 8763, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS VI, 87632F (17 May 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2017273; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2017273
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