Abstract

2D integrating cells provide long optical path lengths on a chip by multiple reflections at highly reflective mirrors similar to integrating spheres in free space. Therefore, they build a promising platform for integrated optical absorption sensing. Here, we present first absorption measurements of free carriers generated by a modulated pump laser inside a 2D integrating cell in a silicon slab. The results can be used to evaluate the lifetimes of free carriers in silicon slabs for integrated optics. Employing a silicon-on-insulator platform with a silicon thickness of 220 nm, we demonstrate measurements of the access free-carrier concentration on the order of 18·1015  cm3 with lifetimes on the order of 0.1–1 μs governed by surface recombination at the silicon interfaces. The measured lifetimes are dependent on free-carrier concentration, which confirms previous observations. The presented free-carrier absorption experiment verifies the sensitivity of 2D integrating cells to changes in the absorption coefficient and thus demonstrates the potential of 2D integrating cells for absorption sensing.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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