Abstract

Like any other sensor system, performances of waveguide grating couplers are affected by adverse effects such as noise and drift, mainly limiting the devices’ resolution and long-term stability. It is therefore often required to reference the measurement with a secondary, parallel sensor to decrease these undesired influences. Here we present a simple but effective method to self-reference a label-free waveguide grating coupler by partially coating and thereby passivating the sensitive area with an inert layer. The presented waveguide grating chip design offers the advantage of internal self-referencing for adverse effects, such as inherent system instabilities, mechanical disturbance, or temperature drift, without the need of a sacrificial reference channel.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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