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Thermal microphotonic sensor and sensor array

United States Patent

February 23, 2010
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
A thermal microphotonic sensor is disclosed for detecting infrared radiation using heat generated by the infrared radiation to shift the resonant frequency of an optical resonator (e.g. a ring resonator) to which the heat is coupled. The shift in the resonant frequency can be determined from light in an optical waveguide which is evanescently coupled to the optical resonator. An infrared absorber can be provided on the optical waveguide either as a coating or as a plate to aid in absorption of the infrared radiation. In some cases, a vertical resonant cavity can be formed about the infrared absorber to further increase the absorption of the infrared radiation. The sensor can be formed as a single device, or as an array for imaging the infrared radiation.
Watts; Michael R. (Albuquerque, NM), Shaw; Michael J. (Tijeras, NM), Nielson; Gregory N. (Albuquerque, NM), Lentine; Anthony L. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
11/ 950,821
December 5, 2007
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.