A high mid-infrared 1D photonic crystal cavity in chalcogenide glass AMTIR-1 () resonating at has been proposed as a key element of a sensor able to evaluate the nitric oxide (NO) concentration in the exhaled breath, namely fraction exhaled NO. The cavity design has been carried out through 3D finite-element method simulations. A -factor of and a mode volume , corresponding to a ratio of , have been obtained with a resonance transmission coefficient . A sensitivity of 10 ppb has been calculated with reference to the photothermal physical property of the material. Such a result is lower than the state-of-the-art of NO sensors proposed in literature, where hundreds of parts per trillion-level detection seem to have been achieved, but comparable with the performance obtained by commercial devices. The main advantages of the new device are in terms of footprint (), smaller at least 1 order of magnitude than those in literature, fast response time (only few seconds), and potential low cost. Such properties make possible in a handheld device the sensor integration in a multi-analysis system for detecting the presence of several trace gases, improving prevention, and reducing the duration of drug treatment for asthma and viral infections.
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