In this work, we study the detection of acetylene (C2H2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O) gases in the near-infrared (NIR) range using an on-chip silicon micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectrometer in the wavelength range 1300–2500 nm (4000–7692 cm−1). The spectrometer core engine is a scanning Michelson interferometer micro-fabricated using a deep-etching technology producing self-aligned components. The light is free-space propagating in-plane with respect to the silicon chip substrate. The moving mirror of the interferometer is driven by a relatively large stroke electrostatic comb-drive actuator corresponding to about 30 cm−1 resolution. Multi-mode optical fibers are used to connect light between the wideband light source, the interferometer, the 10 cm gas cell, and the optical detector. A wide dynamic range of gas concentration down to 2000 parts per million (ppm) in only 10 cm length gas cell is demonstrated. Extending the wavelength range to the mid-infrared (MIR) range up to 4200 nm (2380 cm−1) is also experimentally demonstrated, for the first time, using a bulk micro-machined on-chip MEMS FT-IR spectrometer. The obtained results open the door for an on-chip optical gas sensor for many applications including environmental sensing and industrial process control in the NIR/MIR spectral ranges.
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