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Mid-infrared photonic devices for on-chip optical gas sensing
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), Micro and Nanosystems.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0080-0708
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Gas detection is crucial in a wide range of fields and applications, such as safety and process control in the industry, atmospheric sciences, and breath diagnostics. Optical gas sensing offers some key advantages, compared to other sensing methods such as electrochemical and semiconductor sensing: high specificity, fast response, and minimal drift.

Wavelengths between 3 and 10 μm are of particular interest for gas sensing. This spectral range, called the mid-infrared (mid-IR), is also known as the fingerprint region, because several gas species can be identified by their sharp absorption lines in this region. The most relevant mid-IR-active gases are the trace gases carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), carbon monoxide (CO), ammonia (NH3), and nitrous oxide (N2O). They are greenhouse gases, contributing to global warming. They are waste products of human activities and widely used in agriculture and industry. Therefore, it is crucial to accurately and extensively monitor them. However, traditional optical gas sensors with a free-space optical path configuration, are too bulky, power-hungry, and expensive to be widely adopted.

This thesis presents mid-IR integrated photonic devices that enable the on-chip integration of optical gas sensors, with a focus on CO2 sensing. The reported technologies address the fundamental sensor functionalities: light-gas interaction, infrared light generation, and infrared light detection. The thesis introduces a novel mid-IR silicon photonic waveguide that allows a light path as long as tens of centimeters to fit in a volume smaller than a few cubic millimeters. Mid-IR CO2 spectroscopy demonstrates the high sensing performance of the waveguide. The thesis also explores the refractive index sensing of CO2 with a mid-IR silicon photonic micro-ring resonator.

Furthermore, the thesis proposes platinum nanowires as low-cost infrared light sources and detectors that can be easily integrated on photonic waveguides. Finally, the thesis presents a large-area infrared emitter fabricated by highs-peed wire bonding and integrated in a non-dispersive infrared sensor for the detection of alcohol in breath.

The technologies presented in this thesis are suited for cost-effective mass production and large-scale adoption. Miniaturized integrated optical gas sensors have the potential to become the main choice for an increasingly broad range of existing and new applications, such as portable, distributed, and networked environmental monitoring, and high-volume medical and consumer applications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2019.
Keywords [en]
mid-infrared, mid-IR, photonics, silicon photonics, gas sensing, optical sensing, optical gas sensing, spectroscopy, absorption, dispersion, carbon dioxide, CO2, CO2 sensing, trace gas, ethanol sensing, alcohol sensing, waveguide, photonic waveguide, ring resonator, nanowire, nanoheater, emitter, thermal source, bolometer, microbolometer, thermal detector, high frequency, 3 omega method, plasmonic, platinum, Kanthal, silicon-on-insulator, micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), microfabrication, microsystems, microtechnology, nanotechnology
National Category
Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering Nano Technology Medical Equipment Engineering Other Mechanical Engineering Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics Analytical Chemistry
Research subject
Physics, Optics and Photonics; Electrical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-261188ISBN: 978-91-7873-303-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-261188DiVA, id: diva2:1357381
Public defence
2019-10-25, Ångdomen, Osquars backe 31, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Vinnova, 2012-01233Vinnova, 2014-05246Vinnova, 2016-02328Vinnova, 2017- 05108Stockholm County Council, 20140751Stockholm County Council, 20150910Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research , GMT14-0071EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 267528EU, Horizon 2020, 825272Available from: 2019-10-04 Created: 2019-10-03 Last updated: 2019-10-04Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Carbon dioxide absorption spectroscopy with a mid-infrared silicon photonic waveguide
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Carbon dioxide absorption spectroscopy with a mid-infrared silicon photonic waveguide
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Carbon dioxide is a vital gas for life on Earth, a waste product of human activities, and widely used in agriculture and industry. Its accurate sensing is therefore of great interest. Optical sensors exploiting the mid-infrared light absorption of CO2 provide high selectivity, but their large size and high cost limit their use. Here, we demonstrate CO2 gas sensing at 4.2 μm wavelength using an integrated silicon waveguide, featuring a sensitivity to CO2 of 44% that of free-space sensing. The suspended waveguide is fabricated on a silicon-on-insulator substrate by a single-lithography-step process, and we route it into a mid-infrared photonic circuit for on-chip-referenced gas measurements. Its demonstrated performance and its simple and scalable fabrication make our waveguide ideal for integration in miniaturized CO2 sensors for distributed environmental monitoring, personal safety, medical, and high-volume consumer applications.

Keywords
mid-infrared, mid-IR, photonics, silicon photonics, gas sensing, optical sensing, optical gas sensing, absorption, carbon dioxide, CO2, CO2 sensing, trace gas, waveguide, photonic waveguide, silicon, microfabrication, microsystems, microtechnology, nanotechnology
National Category
Nano Technology Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering Analytical Chemistry Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-261183 (URN)
Funder
Vinnova, 2016-02328Vinnova, 2017-05108Stockholm County Council, 20150910Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research , GMT14-0071
Note

QC 20191011

Available from: 2019-10-02 Created: 2019-10-02 Last updated: 2019-10-11Bibliographically approved
2. On-chip dispersion spectroscopy of mid-infrared molecular fingerprints using a microring resonator
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On-chip dispersion spectroscopy of mid-infrared molecular fingerprints using a microring resonator
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering Nano Technology Analytical Chemistry Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-261185 (URN)
Funder
Vinnova, 2016-02328Vinnova, 2017-05108Stockholm County Council, 20150910EU, Horizon 2020, 825272
Note

QC 20191011

Available from: 2019-10-02 Created: 2019-10-02 Last updated: 2019-10-11Bibliographically approved
3. A sub-μs thermal time constant electrically driven Pt nanoheater: thermo-dynamic design and frequency characterization
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A sub-μs thermal time constant electrically driven Pt nanoheater: thermo-dynamic design and frequency characterization
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2016 (English)In: Applied Physics Letters, ISSN 0003-6951, E-ISSN 1077-3118, Vol. 108, no 19, article id 193106Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Metal nanowires can emit coherent polarized thermal radiation, work as uncooled bolometers, and provide localized heating. In this paper, we engineer the temperature dynamics of electrically driven Pt nanoheaters on a silicon-on-insulator substrate. We present three designs and we electrically characterize and model their thermal impedance in the frequency range from 3 Hz to 3 MHz. Finally, we show a temperature modulation of 300 K while consuming less than 5 mW of power, up to a frequency of 1.3 MHz. This result can lead to significant advancements in thermography and absorption spectroscopy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Institute of Physics (AIP), 2016
Keywords
nanowire, thermal source, 3 omega method, high frequency
National Category
Nano Technology
Research subject
Electrical Engineering; Materials Science and Engineering; Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-186289 (URN)10.1063/1.4948979 (DOI)000377023500046 ()2-s2.0-84969524604 (Scopus ID)
Funder
VINNOVA, 2012-01233VINNOVA, 2014-05246Stockholm County Council, 20140751Stockholm County Council, 20150910EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 267528
Note

QC 20160523

Available from: 2016-05-09 Created: 2016-05-09 Last updated: 2019-10-03Bibliographically approved
4. A large-area single-filament infrared emitter and its application in a spectroscopic ethanol gas sensing system
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A large-area single-filament infrared emitter and its application in a spectroscopic ethanol gas sensing system
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keywords
mid-infrared, mid-IR, sensing, gas sensing, alcohol sensing, ethanol sensing, wire bonding, microfabrication, microsystems, silicon, MEMS
National Category
Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering Other Mechanical Engineering Medical Equipment Engineering Nano Technology Analytical Chemistry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-261187 (URN)
Funder
EU, European Research Council, 277879Swedish Research Council, 621-2011-4437Vinnova, 2015-00402
Note

QC 20191011

Available from: 2019-10-02 Created: 2019-10-02 Last updated: 2019-10-11Bibliographically approved
5. A fast uncooled infrared nanobolometer featuring a hybrid-plasmonic cavity for enhanced optical responsivity
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A fast uncooled infrared nanobolometer featuring a hybrid-plasmonic cavity for enhanced optical responsivity
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2017 (English)In: 30th IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems, Las Vegas, January 22-26, 2017, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2017Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

We demonstrate the first uncooled single-nanowire-based infrared bolometer to detect sub-mW optical signals up to MHz frequencies. The bolometer consists of a Pt nanowire on a suspended silicon hybrid-plasmonic cavity, and exhibits enhanced optical responsivity compared to nanowires on unstructured and non-suspended substrates. Low-cost monolithically integrated infrared detectors are needed for the rapidly growing field of silicon photonic sensors. The high speed of our nanobolometer enables advanced modulation schemes for noise reduction and avoidance of low-frequency thermal cross-talk, as well as power saving by pulsed operation. Furthermore, its simple integration and small footprint make it a cost effective detector for sensing applications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2017
Keywords
bolometer, infrared, photonic, plasmonic, platinum
National Category
Nano Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-199909 (URN)10.1109/MEMSYS.2017.7863562 (DOI)000402552000239 ()2-s2.0-85015727159 (Scopus ID)
Conference
MEMS, January 22-26, 2017
Funder
VINNOVA, 2016-01655VINNOVA, 2016-02328Stockholm County Council, 20150910
Note

QC 20170124

Available from: 2017-01-17 Created: 2017-01-17 Last updated: 2019-10-03Bibliographically approved

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