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Characterization of integrated optical waveguide devices



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At the Optoelectronics Research Lab in ECE at CSU, we explore the issues of design, modeling and measurement of integrated optical waveguide devices of interest, such as optical waveguide biosensors and on-chip optical interconnects. A local evanescent-field array coupled (LEAC) sensor was designed to meet the needs for low-trace biological detection without florescent chemical agent aids. The measurement of LEACs sensor requires the aid of either a commercial near-field scanning optical microscope (NSOM) or new proposed buried detector arrays. LEAC sensors were first used to detect pseudo-adlayers on the waveguide top surface. These adlayers include SiNx and photoresist. The field modulation that was obtained based on NSOM measurement was approximately 80% for a 17 nm SiNx adlayer that was patterned on the waveguide using plasma reactive ion etching. Later, single and multiple regions of immunoassay complex adlayers were analyzed using NSOM. The most recent results demonstrated the capability of using this sensor to differentiate immunoassay complex regions with different surface coverage ratio. The study on buried detectors revealed a higher sensitivity of the sensor to a thin organic film on the waveguide. By detecting the optical intensity decay rate, the sensor was able to detect several nanometer thick film with 1.7 dB/mm/nm sensitivity. In bulk material analysis, this sensor demonstrated more than 15 dB/mm absorption coefficient difference between organic oil and air upper claddings. In on-chip optical interconnect research, optical waveguide test structures and leaky-mode waveguide coupled photodetectors were designed, modeled and measured. A 16-node H-tree waveguide was used to deliver light into photodetectors and characterized. Photodetectors at each end node of the H-tree were measured using near-field scanning microscopy. The 0.5 micrometer wide photodetector demonstrated up to 80% absorption ratio over just a 10 micrometer length. This absorption efficiency is the highest among reported leaky-mode waveguide coupled photodetectors. The responsivity and quantum efficiency of this photodetector are 0.35 A/W and 65%, respectively.


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optical waveguides
electrical engineering


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