Abstract

We present a systematic analytic and numerical study of the detection limit of a refractive index sensor employing a directional coupler architecture within a photonic crystal fiber (PCF). The device is based on the coupling between the core mode and a copropagating mode of a satellite waveguide formed by a single hole of the PCF infiltrated by a high-index analyte. Using coupled mode theory as well as full simulations, we investigate the influence of changes in the geometrical parameters of the PCF and the analyte's refractive index on sensor performance, including sensitivity, resonance width, and detection limit. We show that regardless of the details of the sensor's implementation, the smallest detectable refractive index change is inversely proportional to the coupling length and the overlap integral of the satellite mode with the analyte, so that best performance comes at the cost of long analyte infiltration lengths. This is experimentally confirmed in our dip sensor configuration, where the lowest detection limit achievable for realistic implementation is estimated to 7 × 10 $^{-8}$ refractive index units (RIU) based on realistic signal to noise ratios in a commercially available PCF.

© 2013 IEEE

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  1. C. Monat, P. Domachuk, B. J. Eggleton, "Integrated optofluidics: A new river of light," Nat. Photon. 1, 106 -114 (2007).
  2. J. Homola, S. S. Yee, G. Gauglitz, "Surface plasmon resonance sensors: Review," Sens. Actuators B 54, 3 -15 (1999).
  3. M. Lee, P. M. Fauchet, "Two-dimensional silicon photonic crystal based biosensing platform for protein detection ," Opt. Exp. 15, 4530-4535 (2007).
  4. L. Rindorf, J. B. Jensen, M. Dufva, L. H. Pedersen, P. E. Hoiby, O. Bang, "Photonic crystal fiber long period gratings for biochemical sensing," Opt. Exp. 14, 8224-8231 (2006).
  5. D. C. Wu, B. T. Kuhlmey, B. J. Eggleton, "Ultrasensitive photonic crystal fiber refractive index sensor," Opt. Lett. 34, 322-324 (2009).
  6. B. T. Kuhlmey, S. Coen, S. Mahmoodian, "Coated photonic bandgap fibres for low-index sensing applications: Cutoff analysis," Opt. Exp. 17 , 16306-16321 (2009 ).
  7. C. Markos, W. Yuan, K. Vlachos, G. E. Town, O. Bang, " Label-free biosensing with high sensitivity in dual-core microstructured polymer optical fibers," Opt. Exp. 19, 7790-7798 (2011).
  8. J. R. Ott, M. Heuck, C. Agger, P. D. Rasmussen, O. Bang, " Label-free and selective nonlinear fiber-optical biosensing," Opt. Exp. 16, 20834-20847 (2008).
  9. M. H. Frosz, "Highly sensitive and simple refractive index sensing of liquids in photonic crystal fibers using four-wave mixing," Opt. Exp. 19 , 10471-10484 (2011 ).
  10. H. Zhu, I. M. White, J. D. Suter, P. S. Dale, X. Fan, "Analysis of biomolecule detection with optofluidic ring resonator sensors," Opt. Exp. 15, 9139-9146 (2007).
  11. B. T. Kuhlmey, B. J. Eggleton, D. C. Wu, "Fluid-filled solid-core photonic bandgap fibers," J. Lightw. Technol. 27, 1617-1630 (2009 ).
  12. H. Lee, H. W. Lee, M. A. Schmidt, P. Uebel, H. Tyagi, N. Y. Joly, M. Scharrer, P. S. J. Russell, "Optofluidic refractive-index sensor in step-index fiber with parallel hollow micro-channel," Opt. Exp. 19, 8200-8207 (2011).
  13. B. Sun, M.-Y. Chen, Y.-K. Zhang, J.-c. Yang, J.-q. Yao, H.-X. Cui, "Microstructured-core photonic-crystal fiber for ultra-sensitive refractive index sensing," Opt. Exp. 19, 4091-4100 (2011).
  14. W. Yuan, G. E. Town, O. Bang, "Refractive index sensing in an all-solid twin-core photonic bandgap fiber," IEEE Sens. J. 10, 1192-1199 (2010).
  15. G. E. Town, "Microstructured optical fiber refractive index sensor," Opt. Lett. 35, 856-858 (2010).
  16. I. M. White, X. Fan, "On the performance quantification of resonant refractive index sensors," Opt. Exp. 16, 1020-1028 (2008).
  17. A. W. Snyder, J. Jove, Optical Waveguide Theory (Springer, 1983).
  18. D. Marcuse, Theory of Dielectric Optical Waveguides (Academic Press, 1991).
  19. K. Okamoto, Fundamentals of Optical Waveguides (Academic Press, 2005).
  20. L. Rindorf, O. Bang, " Sensitivity of photonic crystal fiber grating sensors: Biosensing, refractive index, strain, and temperature sensing ," J. Opt. Soc. Amer. B 25, 310 -324 (2008).
  21. P. R. McIsaac, "Symmetry-induced modal characteristics of uniform waveguides-I: Summary of results," IEEE Trans. Microw. Theory Tech. 23, 421-429 (1975 ).
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  23. B. T. Kuhlmey, T. P. White, G. Renversez, D. Maystre, L. C. Botten, C. M. de Sterke, R. C. McPhedran, "Multipole method for microstructured optical fibers. II. Implementation and results," J. Opt. Soc. Amer. B 19, 2331-2340 (2002).
  24. K. Nielsen, D. Noordegraaf, T. Sorensen, A. Bjarklev, T. P. Hansen, "Selective filling of photonic crystal fibres," J. Opt. A 7, L13-L20 ( 2005).
  25. S. Mahmoodian, R. C. McPhedran, C. M. de Sterke, K. B. Dossou, C. G. Poulton, L. C. Botten, "Single and coupled degenerate defect modes in two dimensional photonic crystal band gaps," Phys. Rev. A 79, 013814 (2009).
  26. E. W. Washburn, "The dynamics of capillary flow," Phys. Rev. 17, 273-283 (1921).

2011 (3)

C. Markos, W. Yuan, K. Vlachos, G. E. Town, O. Bang, " Label-free biosensing with high sensitivity in dual-core microstructured polymer optical fibers," Opt. Exp. 19, 7790-7798 (2011).

H. Lee, H. W. Lee, M. A. Schmidt, P. Uebel, H. Tyagi, N. Y. Joly, M. Scharrer, P. S. J. Russell, "Optofluidic refractive-index sensor in step-index fiber with parallel hollow micro-channel," Opt. Exp. 19, 8200-8207 (2011).

B. Sun, M.-Y. Chen, Y.-K. Zhang, J.-c. Yang, J.-q. Yao, H.-X. Cui, "Microstructured-core photonic-crystal fiber for ultra-sensitive refractive index sensing," Opt. Exp. 19, 4091-4100 (2011).

2011 (3)

M. H. Frosz, "Highly sensitive and simple refractive index sensing of liquids in photonic crystal fibers using four-wave mixing," Opt. Exp. 19 , 10471-10484 (2011 ).

2010 (2)

W. Yuan, G. E. Town, O. Bang, "Refractive index sensing in an all-solid twin-core photonic bandgap fiber," IEEE Sens. J. 10, 1192-1199 (2010).

G. E. Town, "Microstructured optical fiber refractive index sensor," Opt. Lett. 35, 856-858 (2010).

2009 (2)

2009 (2)

B. T. Kuhlmey, S. Coen, S. Mahmoodian, "Coated photonic bandgap fibres for low-index sensing applications: Cutoff analysis," Opt. Exp. 17 , 16306-16321 (2009 ).

2009 (2)

S. Mahmoodian, R. C. McPhedran, C. M. de Sterke, K. B. Dossou, C. G. Poulton, L. C. Botten, "Single and coupled degenerate defect modes in two dimensional photonic crystal band gaps," Phys. Rev. A 79, 013814 (2009).

2009 (2)

B. T. Kuhlmey, B. J. Eggleton, D. C. Wu, "Fluid-filled solid-core photonic bandgap fibers," J. Lightw. Technol. 27, 1617-1630 (2009 ).

2008 (3)

J. R. Ott, M. Heuck, C. Agger, P. D. Rasmussen, O. Bang, " Label-free and selective nonlinear fiber-optical biosensing," Opt. Exp. 16, 20834-20847 (2008).

I. M. White, X. Fan, "On the performance quantification of resonant refractive index sensors," Opt. Exp. 16, 1020-1028 (2008).

L. Rindorf, O. Bang, " Sensitivity of photonic crystal fiber grating sensors: Biosensing, refractive index, strain, and temperature sensing ," J. Opt. Soc. Amer. B 25, 310 -324 (2008).

2007 (3)

H. Zhu, I. M. White, J. D. Suter, P. S. Dale, X. Fan, "Analysis of biomolecule detection with optofluidic ring resonator sensors," Opt. Exp. 15, 9139-9146 (2007).

C. Monat, P. Domachuk, B. J. Eggleton, "Integrated optofluidics: A new river of light," Nat. Photon. 1, 106 -114 (2007).

M. Lee, P. M. Fauchet, "Two-dimensional silicon photonic crystal based biosensing platform for protein detection ," Opt. Exp. 15, 4530-4535 (2007).

2006 (1)

L. Rindorf, J. B. Jensen, M. Dufva, L. H. Pedersen, P. E. Hoiby, O. Bang, "Photonic crystal fiber long period gratings for biochemical sensing," Opt. Exp. 14, 8224-8231 (2006).

2002 (2)

X. Shu, L. Zhang, I. Bennion, "Sensitivity characteristics of long-period fiber gratings," J. Lightw. Technol. 20, 255-266 (2002).

B. T. Kuhlmey, T. P. White, G. Renversez, D. Maystre, L. C. Botten, C. M. de Sterke, R. C. McPhedran, "Multipole method for microstructured optical fibers. II. Implementation and results," J. Opt. Soc. Amer. B 19, 2331-2340 (2002).

1999 (1)

J. Homola, S. S. Yee, G. Gauglitz, "Surface plasmon resonance sensors: Review," Sens. Actuators B 54, 3 -15 (1999).

1975 ()

P. R. McIsaac, "Symmetry-induced modal characteristics of uniform waveguides-I: Summary of results," IEEE Trans. Microw. Theory Tech. 23, 421-429 (1975 ).

1921 (1)

E. W. Washburn, "The dynamics of capillary flow," Phys. Rev. 17, 273-283 (1921).

IEEE Sens. J. (1)

W. Yuan, G. E. Town, O. Bang, "Refractive index sensing in an all-solid twin-core photonic bandgap fiber," IEEE Sens. J. 10, 1192-1199 (2010).

IEEE Trans. Microw. Theory Tech. (1)

P. R. McIsaac, "Symmetry-induced modal characteristics of uniform waveguides-I: Summary of results," IEEE Trans. Microw. Theory Tech. 23, 421-429 (1975 ).

J. Lightw. Technol. (2)

X. Shu, L. Zhang, I. Bennion, "Sensitivity characteristics of long-period fiber gratings," J. Lightw. Technol. 20, 255-266 (2002).

B. T. Kuhlmey, B. J. Eggleton, D. C. Wu, "Fluid-filled solid-core photonic bandgap fibers," J. Lightw. Technol. 27, 1617-1630 (2009 ).

J. Opt. A (1)

K. Nielsen, D. Noordegraaf, T. Sorensen, A. Bjarklev, T. P. Hansen, "Selective filling of photonic crystal fibres," J. Opt. A 7, L13-L20 ( 2005).

J. Opt. Soc. Amer. B (2)

B. T. Kuhlmey, T. P. White, G. Renversez, D. Maystre, L. C. Botten, C. M. de Sterke, R. C. McPhedran, "Multipole method for microstructured optical fibers. II. Implementation and results," J. Opt. Soc. Amer. B 19, 2331-2340 (2002).

L. Rindorf, O. Bang, " Sensitivity of photonic crystal fiber grating sensors: Biosensing, refractive index, strain, and temperature sensing ," J. Opt. Soc. Amer. B 25, 310 -324 (2008).

Nat. Photon. (1)

C. Monat, P. Domachuk, B. J. Eggleton, "Integrated optofluidics: A new river of light," Nat. Photon. 1, 106 -114 (2007).

Opt. Exp. (9)

M. Lee, P. M. Fauchet, "Two-dimensional silicon photonic crystal based biosensing platform for protein detection ," Opt. Exp. 15, 4530-4535 (2007).

L. Rindorf, J. B. Jensen, M. Dufva, L. H. Pedersen, P. E. Hoiby, O. Bang, "Photonic crystal fiber long period gratings for biochemical sensing," Opt. Exp. 14, 8224-8231 (2006).

B. T. Kuhlmey, S. Coen, S. Mahmoodian, "Coated photonic bandgap fibres for low-index sensing applications: Cutoff analysis," Opt. Exp. 17 , 16306-16321 (2009 ).

C. Markos, W. Yuan, K. Vlachos, G. E. Town, O. Bang, " Label-free biosensing with high sensitivity in dual-core microstructured polymer optical fibers," Opt. Exp. 19, 7790-7798 (2011).

J. R. Ott, M. Heuck, C. Agger, P. D. Rasmussen, O. Bang, " Label-free and selective nonlinear fiber-optical biosensing," Opt. Exp. 16, 20834-20847 (2008).

M. H. Frosz, "Highly sensitive and simple refractive index sensing of liquids in photonic crystal fibers using four-wave mixing," Opt. Exp. 19 , 10471-10484 (2011 ).

H. Zhu, I. M. White, J. D. Suter, P. S. Dale, X. Fan, "Analysis of biomolecule detection with optofluidic ring resonator sensors," Opt. Exp. 15, 9139-9146 (2007).

H. Lee, H. W. Lee, M. A. Schmidt, P. Uebel, H. Tyagi, N. Y. Joly, M. Scharrer, P. S. J. Russell, "Optofluidic refractive-index sensor in step-index fiber with parallel hollow micro-channel," Opt. Exp. 19, 8200-8207 (2011).

B. Sun, M.-Y. Chen, Y.-K. Zhang, J.-c. Yang, J.-q. Yao, H.-X. Cui, "Microstructured-core photonic-crystal fiber for ultra-sensitive refractive index sensing," Opt. Exp. 19, 4091-4100 (2011).

Opt. Exp. (1)

I. M. White, X. Fan, "On the performance quantification of resonant refractive index sensors," Opt. Exp. 16, 1020-1028 (2008).

Opt. Lett. (2)

Phys. Rev. (1)

E. W. Washburn, "The dynamics of capillary flow," Phys. Rev. 17, 273-283 (1921).

Phys. Rev. A (1)

S. Mahmoodian, R. C. McPhedran, C. M. de Sterke, K. B. Dossou, C. G. Poulton, L. C. Botten, "Single and coupled degenerate defect modes in two dimensional photonic crystal band gaps," Phys. Rev. A 79, 013814 (2009).

Sens. Actuators B (1)

J. Homola, S. S. Yee, G. Gauglitz, "Surface plasmon resonance sensors: Review," Sens. Actuators B 54, 3 -15 (1999).

Other (3)

A. W. Snyder, J. Jove, Optical Waveguide Theory (Springer, 1983).

D. Marcuse, Theory of Dielectric Optical Waveguides (Academic Press, 1991).

K. Okamoto, Fundamentals of Optical Waveguides (Academic Press, 2005).

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