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Sensitivity enhancement in evanescent optical waveguide sensors

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4 Author(s)
Veldhuis, G.J. ; MESA Res. Inst., Twente Univ., Enschede, Netherlands ; Parriaux, O. ; Hoekstra, H.J.W.M. ; Lambeck, P.V.

It is shown, that the sensitivity of the effective refractive index on the cladding index in evanescent optical waveguide sensors, can be larger than unity. This implies that the attenuation of a guided wave propagating in a waveguide immersed in an absorptive medium can be made larger than that of a free-space wave propagating through the same medium. The conditions and physical explanation for this puzzling behavior are identified and as a practical application, an absorption sensor, based on a suspended silicon slab waveguide, is proposed where the sensitivity is enhanced by a factor of 1.35.

Published in:

Lightwave Technology, Journal of  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 5 )

Date of Publication:

May 2000

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