Fabrication of thermal microphotonic sensors and sensor arrays

Patent Number: 7,820,970
Issued: 10/26/2010
Official Filing: View the Complete Patent
Abstract: A thermal microphotonic sensor is fabricated on a silicon substrate by etching an opening and a trench into the substrate, and then filling in the opening and trench with silicon oxide which can be deposited or formed by thermally oxidizing a portion of the silicon substrate surrounding the opening and trench. The silicon oxide forms a support post for an optical resonator which is subsequently formed from a layer of silicon nitride, and also forms a base for an optical waveguide formed from the silicon nitride layer. Part of the silicon substrate can be selectively etched away to elevate the waveguide and resonator. The thermal microphotonic sensor, which is useful to detect infrared radiation via a change in the evanescent coupling of light between the waveguide and resonator, can be formed as a single device or as an array.
Filed: 6/25/2009
Application Number: 12/491,596
Government Interests: STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-NA0003525 awarded by the United States Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration. The Government has certain rights in the invention.