Abstract

The finite element method (FEM) has attracted a considerable interest in the past few decades for the analysis of a wide range of dielectric waveguides. This method can handle isotropic and anisotropic material properties and arbitrary-shaped complex dielectric discontinuities more efficiently and accurately than any other methods. A modified H-field based full-vectorial finite element method is used for a rigorous analysis of a composite plasmonic waveguide as an efficient ethanol vapor sensor where a porous ZnO (P-ZnO) layer is used as low index material in between high index silicon and silver metal layer. Enhanced field confined into low index slot is utilized for ethanol vapor sensing which has many potential applications in chemical industries. It is reported here that a high waveguide sensitivity over 0.7 per RIU could be realized with our proposed design depending on the porosity of the ZnO layer. For accurate detection of refractometric changes, a compact Mach–Zehnder interferometer is designed where maximum phase sensitivities of 0.30, 0.34, 0.38, and 0.40 are shown to be achieved for $ \sim $ 50% volume fraction of ethanol into porous ZnO layer with porosity, P = 30%, 40%, 50%, and 60%, respectively. The complete investigation has been carried out at the well-known telecommunication wavelength 1550 nm and with our in-house, accurate full-vectorial FEM code.

© 2017 IEEE

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