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Sensors (Basel). 2012 Nov 9;12(11):15558-98. doi: 10.3390/s121115558.

Recent advances in integrated photonic sensors.

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Dipartimento di Elettrotecnica ed Elettronica, Politecnico di Bari, Bari, Italy.


Nowadays, optical devices and circuits are becoming fundamental components in several application fields such as medicine, biotechnology, automotive, aerospace, food quality control, chemistry, to name a few. In this context, we propose a complete review on integrated photonic sensors, with specific attention to materials, technologies, architectures and optical sensing principles. To this aim, sensing principles commonly used in optical detection are presented, focusing on sensor performance features such as sensitivity, selectivity and rangeability. Since photonic sensors provide substantial benefits regarding compatibility with CMOS technology and integration on chips characterized by micrometric footprints, design and optimization strategies of photonic devices are widely discussed for sensing applications. In addition, several numerical methods employed in photonic circuits and devices, simulations and design are presented, focusing on their advantages and drawbacks. Finally, recent developments in the field of photonic sensing are reviewed, considering advanced photonic sensor architectures based on linear and non-linear optical effects and to be employed in chemical/biochemical sensing, angular velocity and electric field detection.

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