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Refractive-index-based ultrasound sensing with photonic crystal slabs

Eric Y Zhu, Cory Rewcastle, Raanan Gad, Li Qian, Ofer Levi
Optics Letters 2019 May 15, 44 (10): 2609-2612
We demonstrate ultrasound detection with 500-μm-diameter photonic-crystal slab (PCS) sensors fabricated from CMOS-compatible technology. An ultrasound signal impinging a PCS sensor causes a local modulation of the refractive index (RI) of the medium (water) in which the PCS is immersed, resulting in a periodic spectral shift of the optical resonance of the PCS. The acoustic sensitivity is found to scale with the index sensitivity S and quality factor Q. A noise equivalent pressure (NEP) of 650 Pa with averaging (7.4  Pa/Hz) and relative wavelength shifts of up to 4.3×10-5   MPa-1 are measured. The frequency response of the sensors is observed to be flat from 1 to 20 MHz, with the range limited only by our measurement apparatus.


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