Abstract

Traditional silicon waveguides are defined by waveguide trenches on either side of the high-index silicon core that leads to fluid leakage orifices for over-layed microfluidic channels. Closing the orifices needs additional fabrication steps which may include oxide deposition and planarization. We experimentally demonstrated a new type of microfluidic channel design with ultralow-loss waveguide crossings (0.00248 dB per crossings). The waveguide crossings and all other on-chip passive-waveguide components are fabricated in one step with no additional planarization steps which eliminates any orifices and leads to leak-free fluid flow. Such designs are applicable in all optical-waveguide-based sensing applications where the analyte must be flowed over the sensor. The new channel design was demonstrated in a L55 photonic crystal sensor operating between 1540 and 1580 nm.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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