On-chip NIR optical spectrometer based on polymeric waveguide and metallic nano-structures
In this work, we report about optical spectrometry using gold nano-structures printed on a polymer based integrated optical waveguide. The optical waveguide is a single mode buried waveguide, having dimensions of 3x2.2 mu m(2). It is made from a combination of photo-polymerizable materials and is fabricated by photolithography on a glass substrate. To sense the electric field inside the waveguide, a gold nano-coupler array of thin lines (50 nm thick and 8 mu m length) is embedded on top of the aforementioned waveguide. They are produced by E-beam lithography. The array pitch is 2.872 mu m and the number of lines 564, which yields an array of 1.619 mm length. The device is enclosed with a glass superstrate to prevent it from dust and destruction. Both waveguide ports are polished and the output port in particular, is coated with a thin gold layer to assimilate a mirror and hence, it enables the creation of stationary waves inside the structure. The measurement procedure involves light injection using a single mode fiber carrying both visible light (658nm) and infrared light (785nm), used for alignment and measurement purposes respectively. Stationary waves generated inside the guide constitute the spatial interferogram. Locally, light is out-coupled using the nano-couplers and allows measuring the interferogram structure. The resulting pattern is imaged by a vision system involving an optical microscope with a digital camera mounted on-top of it. Signal processing, mainly based on Fast Fourier transform is performed on the captured signal to extract the spectral content of the measured signal.