Silicon photonics waveguide array sensor for selective detection of VOCs at room temperature.

Sci Rep 2019 Nov 19;9(1):17099. Epub 2019 Nov 19.

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Masdar City Campus, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

We report on the fabrication and characterization of a volatile organic compound sensor architecture addressing common drawbacks of photonic integrated sensors such as reusability and specificity. The proposed sensor, built on a silicon-on-insulator platform and based on arrayed waveguide interference, has a chemically selective polydimethylsiloxane polymer cladding, which encapsulates the waveguides and provides an expandable and permeable low refractive index material. This cladding material acts as the chemical transducer element, changing its optical properties when in contact with specific volatile organic compounds, whose presence in the context of environmental and public health protection is important to monitor. The sensor operates at room temperature and its selectivity was confirmed by multiple tests with water, toluene, chlorobenzene, and hexane, through which the sturdiness of the sensor was verified. A maximum spectral shift of about 22.8 nm was measured under testing with chlorobenzene, at a central wavelength of 1566.7 nm. In addition, a sensitivity of 234.8 pm/% was obtained for chlorobenzene mass percent concentrations, with a limit of detection of 0.24%. The thermal sensitivity of the sensor has been found to be 0.9 nm/°C.

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Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-52264-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6863817PMC
November 2019

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