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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Sub-wavelength grating ring resonators based on silicon-on-insulator technology for sensing applications Sherwali, Ahmed Hamid Ehmida


Standard silicon photonic strip waveguides offer a high intrinsic refractive index contrast; this permits strong light confinement, leading to compact bends, which in turn facilitate the fabrication of devices with a small footprint. Waveguides based on sub-wavelength gratings (SWGs) can allow the fabrication of devices with specific, engineered optical properties. The combination of SWG waveguides with optical resonators can offer the possibility of achieving ring resonators with properties different from the traditional Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) rings. One important property that SWG rings can offer is decreased light confinement in the waveguide core; this improves the resonator’s sensitivity to changes in the cladding refractive index, making the rings ideal for refractive index sensing applications. This thesis presents the design and experimental characterization of SWG-based rings realized on SOI chips without upper cladding, permitting their use as sensors. The sensitivity achieved was 400 nm/RIU and the limit of detection was 9.9 x 10−⁴ .

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