Abstract

A birefringence measurement system is introduced to get high phase resolution for detection of low contents of biochemicals. By using a fixed quarter-wave plate and a rotating polarizer, the phase difference between two orthogonal polarizations is transformed into phase delay of output sinusoidal signal. Analyzing the output phase, birefringence change could be detected with a phase noise of 0.14°. As well as the birefringence measurement system, an optical evanescent waveguide sensor was developed. A rib-type silica waveguide overlaid with TiO2 film was fabricated, and a developed birefringence measurement technique was employed in evaluating a refractive index change on waveguide surface. For the fabricated waveguide with a 40-nm-thick TiO2 film, experiment results showed that the minimum detectable index change was 5.9×107.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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