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Ultrasensitive Gas-Phase Chemical Sensing Based on Functionalized Photonic Crystal Nanobeam Cavities

Research Area: Nanophotonics Year: 2014
Type of Publication: Article Keywords: photonic crystal cavity, chemical sensor, thermo-optical bistability
Authors: Chen, Y.; Fegadolli, William; Jones, William Max; Scherer, Axel; Li, M.
Journal: ACS Nano Volume: Advanced Online
Month: January
Photonic crystal nanobeam cavities with high-quality factors are very sensitive to the changes of the dielectric properties of their surroundings. Utilizing this high sensitivity and by applying chemical functionalization, an ultrasensitive chemical sensor for gases based on a nanobeam cavity was demonstrated. A limit of detection of 1.5 parts-per-billion (ppb) in ambient conditions, determined from the noise level of the system, was achieved for nerve agent simulant methyl salicylate. The nanobeam cavity’s nonlinear thermo-optical bistability is also utilized to realize a threshold detector for cumulative chemical exposure.
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