Near-infrared and mid-infrared integrated silicon devices for chemical and biological sensing
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Silicon has been the material of choice of the photonics industry over the last decade due to its easy integration with silicon electronics as well as its optical transparency in the near-infrared telecom wavelengths. Besides these, it has very high refractive index, and also a broad optical transparency window over the entire mid-IR till about 8[Mu]m. Photonic crystal is well known that it can slow down the speed of light. It also can provide a universal platform for microcavity optical resonators with high quality factor Q and small modal volumes. The slow light effect, high Q and small modal volumes enhance light-matter interaction, together with high refractive index of silicon can be utilized to build a highly sensitive, high throughput sensor with small footprint. In this research, we have demonstrated highly compact and sensitive silicon based photonic crystal biosensor by engineering the photonic crystal microcavity in both cavity size and cavity-waveguide coupling condition. We have developed solutions to increase biosensor throughput by integrating multimode interference device and improving the coupling efficiency to a slow light photonic crystal waveguides. We have also performed detailed investigations on silicon based photonic devices at mid-infrared region to develop an ideal platform for highly sensitive optical absorption spectroscopy on chip. The studies have led to the demonstration of the first slot waveguide, the first photonic crystal waveguide, and the first holey photonic crystal waveguide and first slotted photonic crystal waveguide in silicon-on-sapphire at mid-infrared. The solutions and devices we developed in our research could be very useful for people to realize an integrated photonic circuit for biological and chemical sensing in the future.