Abstract

A generalized study has been carried out on the modeling of a Fabry–Perot microcavity for sensing applications. Different analytical models on transmission characteristics of a Fabry–Perot microcavity are established by using plane-wave-based techniques, such as the Macleod characteristic matrix technique, the transfer matrix technique, and Smith’s technique. A novel Gaussian-optics-based model for a Fabry–Perot microcavity illuminated by a laser beam is then developed and validated. The influence of laser beam waist on microcavity optical response is investigated, and the required minimal beam waist size is explored to ensure a useful optical response for sensing applications that can be accurately predicted by plane-wave optics. Also, the perturbations of microcavity performance induced by different types of microcavity mirror imperfections are discussed, based on the novel optical model. The prototype of the proposed Fabry–Perot microcavity for sensing applications has been successfully fabricated and characterized.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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