Mid-Infrared (mid-IR) spectral range, spanning from 2 μm to 20 μm, is ideal for chemical sensing using spectroscopy thanks to the presence of vibrational absorption bands of many liquid and gas substances in this wavelength range. Indeed, mid-IR spectroscopy allows simultaneous qualitative and quantitative analysis by, respectively, identifying molecules from their spectral signature and relating the concentrations of different chemical agents to their absorption coefficient according to Beer-Lambert law. In the last years, photonic integrated sensors based on mid-IR spectroscopy have emerged as a cheap, accurate, and compact solution that would enable continuous real-time on-site diagnostics and monitoring of molecular species without the need to collect samples for off-site measurements. Here, we report the design, processing and characterization of a photonic integrated transducer based on selenide ridge waveguides. Evanescent wave detection of chemical substances in liquid phase (isopropyl alcohol, C3H8O, and acetic acid, C2H4O2, both dissolved in cyclohexane) is presented using their absorption at a wavelength of 7.7 μm.
In this work we utilize heat conduction measurements trough the photothermal beam deflection technique to characterize thermal properties of biological tissue. We design a heat flux sensor based on the phenomenon of photothermal laser beam deflection within a thermo-optic slab (acrylic), where the deflection is quantified by an optical fiber angle sensor. We analytically model the heat flux sensor response based on heat wave propagation theory that well agree with experimental data. We present heat conduction measurements on different tissues applying a heat pulse. Hence we obtain the thermal effusivity coefficient of bovine tendon and chicken liver and heart. It has been shown that thermal conduction depends on the tissue´s chemical composition as well on their structural arrangements, so any modification in tissue will affect on heat conduction rendering this method potentially useful as an auxiliary in biomedical studies. Nowadays there are several thermal effusivity and diffusivity measurement techniques with classic calorimetry (using thermistors) for research and industrial applications. However there are only few integrated optical devices already proposed, turning this optical technique in an innovative and alternative sensing system for thermal properties characterization.