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Fabrication of thermal microphotonic sensors and sensor arrays

United States Patent

October 26, 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 fabricated on a silicon substrate by etching an opening and a trench into the substrate, and then filling in the opening and trench with silicon oxide which can be deposited or formed by thermally oxidizing a portion of the silicon substrate surrounding the opening and trench. The silicon oxide forms a support post for an optical resonator which is subsequently formed from a layer of silicon nitride, and also forms a base for an optical waveguide formed from the silicon nitride layer. Part of the silicon substrate can be selectively etched away to elevate the waveguide and resonator. The thermal microphotonic sensor, which is useful to detect infrared radiation via a change in the evanescent coupling of light between the waveguide and resonator, can be formed as a single device or as an array.
Shaw; Michael J. (Tijeras, NM), Watts; Michael R. (Albuquerque, NM), Nielson; Gregory N. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
12/ 491,596
June 25, 2009
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.