Mid-infrared T-shaped photonic crystal waveguide for optical refractive index sensing
Giden, Ibrahim H.
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In this paper, we propose and design a new type of an integrated optical sensor that performs sensing in a wide wavelength range corresponding to mid-infrared (mid-IR) spectrum. By engineering the structural parameters of square-lattice photonic crystal (PC) slab incorporated with a T-shaped air-slot, strong light confinement and interaction with the analytes are assured. Numerical analyses in the time and frequency domain are conducted to determine the structural parameters of the design. The direct interaction between the slot waveguide mode and the analyte infiltrated into the slot gives rise to highly sensitive refractive index sensors. The highest sensitivity of the proposed T-slotted PC sensor is 1040 nm/RIU within the range of analytes' refractive indices n=1.05-1.10, and the overall sensitivity corresponding to the higher refractive index range of n=1.10-1.30 is around 500 nm/RIU. Moreover, for a realistic PC slab structure, we determined an average refractive index sensitivity of 530 nm/RIU within the range of n=1.10-1.25 and an average sensitivity of 390 nm/RIU within the range of n=1.00-1.30. Furthermore, we speculate on the possible approach for the fabrication and the optical characterization of the device. The assets of the device include being compact, having a feasible measurement and fabrication technique, and possessing label-free sensing characteristic. We expect that the presented work may lead to the further development of the mid-IR label-free biochemical sensor devices for detection of various materials and gases in the near future. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.