Abstract

We propose a novel optical sensor based on a one-dimensional (1D) photonic crystal (PhC) single nanobeam air-mode cavity (SNAC). The performance of the device is investigated theoretically. By introducing a quadratically modulated width tapering structure, a waveguide-coupled 1D-PhC SNAC with a calculated high quality factor of 5.16×106 and an effective mode volume of Veff2.18(λ/nsi)3 can be achieved. For the air mode mentioned above, the light field can be strongly localized inside the air region (low index) and overlaps sufficiently with the analytes. Thus, the suggested PhC SNAC can be used for high-sensitivity refractive index sensing with an estimated high sensitivity of 537.8 nm/RIU. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first PhC single nanobeam geometry that features both high Q-factors and high sensitivity, and is potentially an ideal platform for realizing ultracompact lab-on-a-chip applications with dense arrays of functionalized spots for multiplexed sensing.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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