For the last decade, germanium has been proposed as an excellent material for passive mid-infrared (MIR) integrated photonics. This technology allows for label-free sensing in the molecular fingerprint regime (6.7 - 20 µm), where molecules can be uniquely identified by their absorption spectra. Such a platform has the potential to enable low cost, miniaturized mid-infrared sensors for use in crucial applications such as explosives detection, pollution monitoring and detection of breath biomarkers for point of care diagnostics. There have now been a number of demonstrations of waveguides up to 8.5 µm wavelength using Ge [1] and SiGe [2] waveguides. Previously, we have demonstrated the first low loss Ge-on-Si waveguides from 7.5 to 11 µm, with losses as low as ~1 dB/cm [3]. Here, we demonstrate their potential for sensing applications by evanescently sensing unique vibrations in poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) polymers, in the spectral region of 7.5–10 µm wavelength.

© 2019 IEEE

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