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Materials 2017, 10(2), 140; doi:10.3390/ma10020140

Silicon Nitride Background in Nanophotonic Waveguide Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy

Photonics Research Group, INTEC Department, Ghent University/IMEC, Gent 9000, Belgium
Center for Nano- and Biophotonics, Ghent University, Gent 9000, Belgium
Phutung Research Institute, Balaju-16, Kathmandu 44611, Nepal
Department of Molecular Biotechnology, Ghent University, Gent 9000, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Seppo Honkanen
Received: 29 December 2016 / Revised: 1 February 2017 / Accepted: 4 February 2017 / Published: 8 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silicon Nanophotonics)
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Recent studies have shown that evanescent Raman spectroscopy using a silicon nitride (SiN) nanophotonic waveguide platform has higher signal enhancement when compared to free-space systems. However, signal-to-noise ratio from the waveguide at a low analyte concentration is constrained by the shot-noise from the background light originating from the waveguide itself. Hence, understanding the origin and properties of this waveguide background luminescence (WGBL) is essential to developing mitigation strategies. Here, we identify the dominating component of the WGBL spectrum composed of a broad Raman scattering due to momentum selection-rule breaking in amorphous materials, and several peaks specific to molecules embedded in the core. We determine the maximum of the Raman scattering efficiency of the WGBL at room temperature for 785 nm excitation to be 4.5 ± 1 × 10−9 cm−1·sr−1, at a Stokes shift of 200 cm−1. This efficiency decreases monotonically for higher Stokes shifts. Additionally, we also demonstrate the use of slotted waveguides and quasi-transverse magnetic polarization as some mitigation strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: integrated optics; Raman spectroscopy; optical sensing and sensors; silicon nitride; dielectric channel waveguides; background shot noise integrated optics; Raman spectroscopy; optical sensing and sensors; silicon nitride; dielectric channel waveguides; background shot noise

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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Dhakal, A.; Wuytens, P.; Raza, A.; Le Thomas, N.; Baets, R. Silicon Nitride Background in Nanophotonic Waveguide Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy. Materials 2017, 10, 140.

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