Ultrasensitive CMOS-compatible lab-on-a-chip integrated photonic sensors with wideband operation

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Wu, Xi
Adibi, Ali
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Sensors are becoming increasingly important to human beings and have penetrated every part of life. The rapid development of the field of integrated photonics enables the opportunity of realizing integrated and compact sensing systems with fast analysis, low cost, and potential for mass production. The focus of this dissertation is to develop key building blocks for the lab-on-a-chip (LOC) sensing system based on integrated photonics. The two preferred material platforms are silicon nitride (Si3N4) and silicon carbide (SiC) since they provide desired properties, such as a wide transparency window, a medium refractive index, and compatibility with standard complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) fabrication processes. Most importantly, SiC shows biocompatibility for enabling implantable devices. In order to achieve the goal of realizing the essential sensor building block, two high-quality-factor (high-Q) Si3N4 spiral-based coupled-resonator devices and high-Q SiC slot-ring resonators at near-IR wavelengths are demonstrated with high detection capability. Additionally, an integrated mid-IR metasurface (MS) on a SiC platform with relatively sharp transmission peaks associated with phonon-mediated magnetic-polariton resonance is demonstrated as a promising candidate for mid-IR sensing applications. On-chip tunability is also an important building block of a LOC sensing system, which is realized through the fully integrated chip-scale tunable high-Q 3C-SiC microring resonators on a SiCOI platform with relatively low tuning power. The research works discussed in this dissertation can be of great interest for diverse sensing applications from visible to infrared wavelengths, paving the way towards the realization of the LOC sensing system based on integrated photonics.
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