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Special Issue "Silicon Technologies for Photonic Sensors"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Chemical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2017).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Carlos Domínguez
Website
Guest Editor
Microelectronics Institute of Barcelona (IMB-CNM), CSIC, Barcelona, Spain
Interests: silicon technologies for electronic and photonic devices; transducers based on silicon and derived materials; sensor development and applications; new and emerging silicon technologies
Dr. Xavier Muñoz-Berbel
Website
Guest Editor
Institut de Microelectrònica de Barcelona IMB-CNM (CSIC), Barcelona, Spain
Interests: optoelectronics, optical sensors; biosensors; MEMS; microfabrication technologies.
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Pascual Muñoz Muñoz
Website
Guest Editor
iTEAM Research Institute, Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia, Spain
Interests: photonic integrated circuits, design, test and manufacturing; photonic integrated spectrometers; advanced photonic IC testing techniques; photonic IC applications from visible to mid-infrared

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, silicon photonics has positioned itself as one of the most promising fields of research, due to its wide spectrum of applications, ranging from information technologies and quantum computing, to biomedical imaging and energy. This expansion comes from the fact that silicon photonics take advantage of the developed microelectronic technologies, translating their underlying philosophy to a new technological paradigm; i.e., changing from the electron to the photon as the main information carrier, and maintaining the developed processes and materials. Similar to Integrated Circuits (IC) technology, silicon photonics is evolving further to develop new demands like analytical sensing, where its capacities could improve the field. Oddly enough, photonic sensors based on silicon started before the technology was advanced enough to produce photonic ICs. Integrated optical sensors, as they were known before, start their development from optical fibre sensors, trying to improve the sensor performance. New materials, optical components, and sensing principles have been fine-tuned over this period of time for different sensing approaches. Nowadays, the technology and concepts are advanced enough to expand photonic sensors to many different application fields. It is for this reason that we wish to present the advances made in different areas of photonics related to sensors, covering the following topics:

  • New concepts and strategies for photonic sensing
  • Silicon compounds and emerging materials (graphene, silicene, …) for photonics
  • Photonic components for detection in the wide spectral range (visible/near infrared(VIS/NIR and IR)) infrared range
  • Hybrid polymer/silicon technology for development of photonic Lab on a Chip (LoC)
  • Silicon technologies applied to develop photonic sensors
  • Application of photonic sensors (health, industry, environment…)

Prof. Carlos Dominguez
Dr. Xavier Muñoz-Berbel
Dr. Pascual Muñoz Muñoz
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Silicon derived technologies
  • Silicon nitride for advanced photonic components
  • Transducers for photonic sensors
  • Photonic sensors for physical magnitudes
  • Bio-Chemical sensors
  • Photonic integrated platforms for sensors and instrumentation

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Application of CMOS Technology to Silicon Photomultiplier Sensors
Sensors 2017, 17(10), 2204; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17102204 - 25 Sep 2017
Cited by 10
Abstract
We use the 180 nm GLOBALFOUNDRIES (GF) BCDLite CMOS process for the production of a silicon photomultiplier prototype. We study the main characteristics of the developed sensor in comparison with commercial SiPMs obtained in custom technologies and other SiPMs developed with CMOS-compatible processes. [...] Read more.
We use the 180 nm GLOBALFOUNDRIES (GF) BCDLite CMOS process for the production of a silicon photomultiplier prototype. We study the main characteristics of the developed sensor in comparison with commercial SiPMs obtained in custom technologies and other SiPMs developed with CMOS-compatible processes. We support our discussion with a transient modeling of the detection process of the silicon photomultiplier as well as with a series of static and dynamic experimental measurements in dark and illuminated environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silicon Technologies for Photonic Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Silicon Nitride Photonic Integration Platforms for Visible, Near-Infrared and Mid-Infrared Applications
Sensors 2017, 17(9), 2088; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17092088 - 12 Sep 2017
Cited by 73
Abstract
Silicon nitride photonics is on the rise owing to the broadband nature of the material, allowing applications of biophotonics, tele/datacom, optical signal processing and sensing, from visible, through near to mid-infrared wavelengths. In this paper, a review of the state of the art [...] Read more.
Silicon nitride photonics is on the rise owing to the broadband nature of the material, allowing applications of biophotonics, tele/datacom, optical signal processing and sensing, from visible, through near to mid-infrared wavelengths. In this paper, a review of the state of the art of silicon nitride strip waveguide platforms is provided, alongside the experimental results on the development of a versatile 300 nm guiding film height silicon nitride platform. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silicon Technologies for Photonic Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Optical Refractive Index Sensing Based on High-Q Bound States in the Continuum in Free-Space Coupled Photonic Crystal Slabs
Sensors 2017, 17(8), 1861; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17081861 - 11 Aug 2017
Cited by 28
Abstract
High sensitivity (S) and high quality factor (Q) are desirable to achieve low detection limit in label-free optical sensors. In this paper, we theoretically demonstrate that single-layer and coupled bi-layer photonic crystal slabs (PCS) possess simultaneously high S and [...] Read more.
High sensitivity (S) and high quality factor (Q) are desirable to achieve low detection limit in label-free optical sensors. In this paper, we theoretically demonstrate that single-layer and coupled bi-layer photonic crystal slabs (PCS) possess simultaneously high S and high Q near the bound states in the continuum (BIC). We theoretically achieved S > 800 nm/RIU and Q > 107 in refractive index sensing in the 1400–1600 nm telecom optical wavelength bands. We experimentally demonstrated an S of 94 nm/RIU and a Q of 1.2 × 104, with a detection limit of 6 × 10−5 refractive index unit. These sensor designs can find applications in biochemical sensing, environmental monitoring, and healthcare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silicon Technologies for Photonic Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Image Processing of Porous Silicon Microarray in Refractive Index Change Detection
Sensors 2017, 17(6), 1335; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17061335 - 08 Jun 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
A new method for extracting the dots is proposed by the reflected light image of porous silicon (PSi) microarray utilization in this paper. The method consists of three parts: pretreatment, tilt correction and spot segmentation. First, based on the characteristics of different components [...] Read more.
A new method for extracting the dots is proposed by the reflected light image of porous silicon (PSi) microarray utilization in this paper. The method consists of three parts: pretreatment, tilt correction and spot segmentation. First, based on the characteristics of different components in HSV (Hue, Saturation, Value) space, a special pretreatment is proposed for the reflected light image to obtain the contour edges of the array cells in the image. Second, through the geometric relationship of the target object between the initial external rectangle and the minimum bounding rectangle (MBR), a new tilt correction algorithm based on the MBR is proposed to adjust the image. Third, based on the specific requirements of the reflected light image segmentation, the array cells are segmented into dots as large as possible and the distance between the dots is equal in the corrected image. Experimental results show that the pretreatment part of this method can effectively avoid the influence of complex background and complete the binarization processing of the image. The tilt correction algorithm has a shorter computation time, which makes it highly suitable for tilt correction of reflected light images. The segmentation algorithm makes the dots in a regular arrangement, excludes the edges and the bright spots. This method could be utilized in the fast, accurate and automatic dots extraction of the PSi microarray reflected light image. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silicon Technologies for Photonic Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Parallel Detection of Refractive Index Changes in a Porous Silicon Microarray Based on Digital Images
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 750; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17040750 - 02 Apr 2017
Cited by 6
Abstract
A new technique for the refractive index change with high-sensitivity measurements was proposed by the digital image of porous silicon (PSi) microarray utilization in this paper. Under the irradiation of a He-Ne laser, the surface images of the PSi array cells with the [...] Read more.
A new technique for the refractive index change with high-sensitivity measurements was proposed by the digital image of porous silicon (PSi) microarray utilization in this paper. Under the irradiation of a He-Ne laser, the surface images of the PSi array cells with the microcavity structure were obtained by the digital imaging equipment, whereas the refractive index change of each array cells was detected by calculating the average gray value of the image and the refractive index change measurement sensitivity was 10−4. This technique could be utilized in the label-free and parallel detection of refraction index changes induced by a biological reaction in the microarray or the chip. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silicon Technologies for Photonic Sensors)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Dual-Mode Electro-Optical Techniques for Biosensing Applications: A Review
Sensors 2017, 17(9), 2047; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17092047 - 07 Sep 2017
Cited by 20
Abstract
The monitoring of biomolecular interactions is a key requirement for the study of complex biological processes and the diagnosis of disease. Technologies that are capable of providing label-free, real-time insight into these interactions are of great value for the scientific and clinical communities. [...] Read more.
The monitoring of biomolecular interactions is a key requirement for the study of complex biological processes and the diagnosis of disease. Technologies that are capable of providing label-free, real-time insight into these interactions are of great value for the scientific and clinical communities. Greater understanding of biomolecular interactions alongside increased detection accuracy can be achieved using technology that can provide parallel information about multiple parameters of a single biomolecular process. For example, electro-optical techniques combine optical and electrochemical information to provide more accurate and detailed measurements that provide unique insights into molecular structure and function. Here, we present a comparison of the main methods for electro-optical biosensing, namely, electrochemical surface plasmon resonance (EC-SPR), electrochemical optical waveguide lightmode spectroscopy (EC-OWLS), and the recently reported silicon-based electrophotonic approach. The comparison considers different application spaces, such as the detection of low concentrations of biomolecules, integration, the tailoring of light-matter interaction for the understanding of biomolecular processes, and 2D imaging of biointeractions on a surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silicon Technologies for Photonic Sensors)
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Open AccessReview
Review of CMOS Integrated Circuit Technologies for High-Speed Photo-Detection
Sensors 2017, 17(9), 1962; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17091962 - 25 Aug 2017
Cited by 10
Abstract
The bandwidth requirement of wireline communications has increased exponentially because of the ever-increasing demand for data centers and high-performance computing systems. However, it becomes difficult to satisfy the requirement with legacy electrical links which suffer from frequency-dependent losses due to skin effects, dielectric [...] Read more.
The bandwidth requirement of wireline communications has increased exponentially because of the ever-increasing demand for data centers and high-performance computing systems. However, it becomes difficult to satisfy the requirement with legacy electrical links which suffer from frequency-dependent losses due to skin effects, dielectric losses, channel reflections, and crosstalk, resulting in a severe bandwidth limitation. In order to overcome this challenge, it is necessary to introduce optical communication technology, which has been mainly used for long-reach communications, such as long-haul networks and metropolitan area networks, to the medium- and short-reach communication systems. However, there still remain important issues to be resolved to facilitate the adoption of the optical technologies. The most critical challenges are the energy efficiency and the cost competitiveness as compared to the legacy copper-based electrical communications. One possible solution is silicon photonics which has long been investigated by a number of research groups. Despite inherent incompatibility of silicon with the photonic world, silicon photonics is promising and is the only solution that can leverage the mature complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technologies. Silicon photonics can be utilized in not only wireline communications but also countless sensor applications. This paper introduces a brief review of silicon photonics first and subsequently describes the history, overview, and categorization of the CMOS IC technology for high-speed photo-detection without enumerating the complex circuital expressions and terminologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silicon Technologies for Photonic Sensors)
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Open AccessReview
III–V-on-Silicon Photonic Integrated Circuits for Spectroscopic Sensing in the 2–4 μm Wavelength Range
Sensors 2017, 17(8), 1788; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17081788 - 04 Aug 2017
Cited by 32
Abstract
The availability of silicon photonic integrated circuits (ICs) in the 2–4 μm wavelength range enables miniature optical sensors for trace gas and bio-molecule detection. In this paper, we review our recent work on III–V-on-silicon waveguide circuits for spectroscopic sensing in this wavelength range. [...] Read more.
The availability of silicon photonic integrated circuits (ICs) in the 2–4 μm wavelength range enables miniature optical sensors for trace gas and bio-molecule detection. In this paper, we review our recent work on III–V-on-silicon waveguide circuits for spectroscopic sensing in this wavelength range. We first present results on the heterogeneous integration of 2.3 μm wavelength III–V laser sources and photodetectors on silicon photonic ICs for fully integrated optical sensors. Then a compact 2 μm wavelength widely tunable external cavity laser using a silicon photonic IC for the wavelength selective feedback is shown. High-performance silicon arrayed waveguide grating spectrometers are also presented. Further we show an on-chip photothermal transducer using a suspended silicon-on-insulator microring resonator used for mid-infrared photothermal spectroscopy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silicon Technologies for Photonic Sensors)
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