Abstract

We develop rapid chemical-vapor sensors based on optofluidic ring resonators (OFRRs). The OFRR is a glass capillary whose circular wall supports the circulating waveguide modes (WGMs). The OFRR inner surface is coated with a vapor-sensitive polymer. The analyte and polymer interaction causes the polymer refractive index to change, which is detected as a WGM spectral shift. Owing to the excellent fluidics, the OFRR exhibits subsecond detection and recovery time with a flow rate of only 1mLmin, a few orders of magnitude lower than that in the existing optical vapor sensors. The detection limit is estimated to be 5.6×106 refractive index units, over ten times better than other ring-resonator vapor sensors. Ethanol and hexane vapors are used as a model system, and chemical differentiation is demonstrated with different polymer coatings.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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