Ultra-sensitive chemical vapor detection using cavity-enhanced infrared spectroscopy
The ultimate goal of the project is to demonstrate a miniaturized, all-on-chip platform for ultra-sensitive detection of chemical vapors using infrared spectroscopy.
In this project, we leverage resonant cavity enhancement to dramatically improve the detection capabilities of infrared chemical sensors. The planar chalcogenide glass micro-resonators we invented are ideally suited for this purpose, given their wide infrared transparency and ultra-low optical loss after our specialty thermal reflow treatment.
On the detection technique front, we explore novel sensing mechanisms to capitalize on the cavity enhancement effects. Our recent theoretical analysis has shown that the novel techniques we are currently developing is five orders of magnitude more sensitive compared to conventional multi-pass infrared absorption spectroscopy, and is capable of detecting chemical molecules down to the ppt level, which qualifies this technique as one of the most sensitive methods for chemical vapor analysis.
We also collaborate closely with researchers in several institutes to develop new glass materials for improved optical performance, as well as novel polymer coatings for enhancing detection sensitivity and specificity. Device field testing will be conducted through collaborations with industrial partners.
J. Hu, V. Tarasov, N. Carlie, L. Petit, A. Agarwal, K. Richardson, and L. C. Kimerling, "Fabrication and Testing of Planar Chalcogenide Waveguide Integrated Microfluidic Sensor," Opt. Express 15, 2307-2314 (2007).
J. Hu, N. Carlie, L. Petit, A. Agarwal, K. Richardson, and L. C. Kimerling, "Demonstration of chalcogenide glass racetrack micro-resonators," Opt. Lett. 33, 761-763 (2008).
J. Hu, N. Carlie, L. Petit, A. Agarwal, K. Richardson, and L. C. Kimerling, "Cavity-enhanced infrared absorption in planar chalcogenide glass resonators: experiment & analysis," J. Lightwave Technol. 27, 5240-5245 (2009).
(Invited Review) K. Richardson, L. Petit, N. Carlie, B. Zdyrko, I. Luzinov, J. Hu, A. Agarwal, L. C. Kimerling, T. Anderson, and M. Richardson, "Progress on the fabrication of on-chip, integrated chalcogenide glass (ChG)-based sensors," J. Nonlinear Opt. Phys. Mater. 19, 75-99 (2010).
(Invited) "Integrated chalcogenide waveguide resonators for mid-IR sensing: Leveraging material properties to meet fabrication challenges," Opt. Express, in preparation
(Invited) "Development of chipscale chalcogenide glass based infrared chemical sensors," to be presented at SPIE Photonics West, San Francisco, CA (2011).