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Temperature-insensitive waveguide sensor using a ring cascaded with a Mach–Zehnder interferometer

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Abstract

We demonstrate a temperature-insensitive waveguide sensor based on a silicon-on-insulator platform. The sensor consists of a ring resonator and a Mach–Zehnder interferometer (MZI). A free spectral range of the sensing ring is designed to be slightly different from that of the MZI; hence, the Vernier effect can be employed to improve sensitivity. By optimizing structural parameters of the MZI, the envelope peak position of a cascaded transmission spectrum can be immune to the temperature variation, and only dependent on analyte change in the sensing area. The experimental results show that bulk refractive index (RI) sensitivity of the proposed sensor is 3552 nm/RI unit, while its temperature sensitivity is less than 4 pm/K, which is two orders of magnitude smaller than the conventional cascaded sensor structure without temperature compensation. The proposed temperature-insensitive waveguide sensor does not need polymer cladding or extra thermal stabilization, making it more robust in practical applications.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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