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SOI based integrated on-chip photonic pressure sensor

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Author: Chakkalakkal Abdulla, S.M.C. · Harmsma, P.J. · Nieuwland, R.A. · Pozo Torres, J.M. · Lemmen, M.H.J. · Sadeghian Marnani, H. · Berg, J.H. van den · Bodis, P.
Source:Proceedings of the 1st DSPE conference on precision mechatronics, September 4-5, 2012, Deurne, The Netherlands
Identifier: 462713
Keywords: Electronics · Industrial Innovation · Physics & Electronics · OPT - Optics · TS - Technical Sciences


A compact, mass producible Silicon On Insulator (SOI) based pressure sensor consisting of a folded Micro Ring Resonator (MRR) on a circular diaphragm is successfully designed, fabricated and characterized [1-3]. The MRR is designed to be single mode for TE polarized light at 1550 nm. The folded MRR has a total length of 1500 μm which is folded to cover an area of 50X400 μm2 and has a guide-width of 450 nm. The circular diaphragm having a diameter of 1350 μm and a thickness of 15 μm is fabricated by reactive ion etching from the substrate side. Light is coupled into the MRR through the “in” port and measured at the “through” port using grating couplers. An application of pressure deflects the membrane, causing stress in the MRR, which in turn changes the effective refractive index the waveguide [4]. This results in a shift in its resonant wavelengths, which represent the applied pressure. Figure 1A shows the measured linear dependence between the resonance wavelength shift and the applied pressure at a constant temperature. Figure 1 B shows a SEM image of part of the membrane with MRR and Figure 1 C shows a schematic of the folded MRR. Such a pressure sensor finds applications in environments in which only minimal invasion is tolerated, such as in medical instrumentation.