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24 February 2016 Protein-based flexible whispering gallery mode resonators
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The idea of creating photonics tools for sensing, imaging and material characterization has long been pursued and many achievements have been made. Approaching the level of solutions provided by nature however is hindered by routine choice of materials. To this end recent years have witnessed a great effort to engineer mechanically flexible photonic devices using polymer substrates. On the other hand, biodegradability and biocompatibility still remains to be incorporated. Hence biomimetics holds the key to overcome the limitations of traditional materials in photonics design. Natural proteins such as sucker ring teeth (SRT) and silk for instance have remarkable mechanical and optical properties that exceed the endeavors of most synthetic and natural polymers. Here we demonstrate for the first time, toroidal whispering gallery mode resonators (WGMR) fabricated entirely from protein structures such as SRT of Loligo vulgaris (European squid) and silk from Bombyx mori. We provide here complete optical and material characterization of proteinaceous WGMRs, revealing high quality factors in microscale and enhancement of Raman signatures by a microcavity. We also present a most simple application of a WGMR as a natural protein add-drop filter, made of SRT protein. Our work shows that with protein-based materials, optical, mechanical and thermal properties can be devised at the molecular level and it lays the groundwork for future eco-friendly, flexible photonics device design.
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Huzeyfe Yilmaz, Abdon Pena-Francesch, Linhua Xu, Robert Shreiner, Huihun Jung, Steven H. Huang, Sahin K. Özdemir, Melik C. Demirel, and Lan Yang "Protein-based flexible whispering gallery mode resonators", Proc. SPIE 9745, Organic Photonic Materials and Devices XVIII, 97450I (24 February 2016);

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