American Chemical Society
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On-Chip Mid-Infrared Photothermal Spectroscopy Using Suspended Silicon-on-Insulator Microring Resonators

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-10-07, 00:00 authored by Anton Vasiliev, Aditya Malik, Muhammad Muneeb, Bart Kuyken, Roel Baets, Günther Roelkens
Mid-infrared spectroscopic techniques rely on the specific ”fingerprint” absorption lines of molecules in the mid-infrared band to detect the presence and concentration of these molecules. Despite being very sensitive and selective, bulky and expensive equipment such as cooled mid-infrared detectors is required for conventional systems. In this paper, we demonstrate a miniature CMOS-compatible Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) photothermal transducer for mid-infrared spectroscopy which can potentially be made in high volumes and at a low cost. The optical absorption of an analyte in the mid-infrared wavelength range (3.25–3.6 μm) is thermally transduced to an optical transmission change of a microring resonator through the thermo-optic effect in silicon. The photothermal signal is further enhanced by locally removing the silicon substrate beneath the transducer, hereby increasing the effective thermal isolation by a factor of 40. As a proof-of-concept, the absorption spectrum of a polymer that has been locally patterned in the annular region of the resonator was recovered using photothermal spectroscopy. The spectrum is in good agreement with a benchmark Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) measurement. A normalized noise equivalent absorption coefficient (NNEA) of 7.6 × 10–6 cm–1 W/Hz1/2 is estimated.