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Appl Phys Lett. 2013 Jan 28;102(4):41111. Epub 2013 Jan 29.

Slow light enhanced sensitivity of resonance modes in photonic crystal biosensors.

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  • 1Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712, USA.


We demonstrate experimentally that in photonic crystal sensors with a side-coupled cavity-waveguide configuration, group velocity of the propagating mode in the coupled waveguide at the frequency of the resonant mode plays an important role in enhancing the sensitivity. In linear L13 photonic crystal microcavities, with nearly same resonance mode quality factors ∼7000 in silicon-on-insulator devices, sensitivity increased from 57 nm/RIU to 66 nm/RIU as group index in the coupled waveguide increased from 10.2 to 13.2. Engineering for highest sensitivity in such planar integrated sensors, thus, requires careful slow light design for optimized sensor sensitivity.

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