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Sensors 2011, 11(8), 7327-7340; doi:10.3390/s110807327

Modeling of Slot Waveguide Sensors Based on Polymeric Materials

1,* , 1,2
Received: 23 June 2011 / Revised: 13 July 2011 / Accepted: 15 July 2011 / Published: 25 July 2011
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Slot waveguides are very promising for optical sensing applications because of their peculiar spatial mode profile. In this paper we have carried out a detailed analysis of mode confinement properties in slot waveguides realized in very low refractive index materials. We show that the sensitivity of a slot waveguide is not directly related to the refractive index contrast of high and low materials forming the waveguide. Thus, a careful design of the structures allows the realization of high sensitivity devices even in very low refractive index materials (e.g., polymers) to be achieved. Advantages of low index dielectrics in terms of cost, functionalization and ease of fabrication are discussed while keeping both CMOS compatibility and integrable design schemes. Finally, applications of low index slot waveguides as substitute of bulky fiber capillary sensors or in ring resonator architectures are addressed. Theoretical results of this work are relevant to well established polymer technologies.
Keywords: slot waveguide; polymeric materials; optical sensor slot waveguide; polymeric materials; optical sensor
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Bettotti, P.; Pitanti, A.; Rigo, E.; De Leonardis, F.; Passaro, V.M.N.; Pavesi, L. Modeling of Slot Waveguide Sensors Based on Polymeric Materials. Sensors 2011, 11, 7327-7340.

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