A refractive index sensor design based on grating-assisted coupling between a strip waveguide and a slot waveguide
In this paper, we present a design of a refractive index sensor based on grating-assisted light coupling between a strip waveguide and a slot waveguide. The slot waveguide serves as the sensing waveguide while the strip waveguide is used for light launching and detection. The wavelength at which the light is coupled from the strip waveguide to the slot waveguide serves as a measure of the refractive index of the external medium. The sensitivity of the sensor is ~1.46 × 103 nm/RIU (refractive index unit) and can be almost doubled by isolating the strip waveguide from the external medium. The effects of the slot-waveguide parameters on the sensitivity have also been investigated. In particular, it is found that the sensor can achieve extraordinarily high sensitivity (on the order of 105 nm/RIU) when the group indices of two waveguides are close. The temperature dependence of the sensor is also investigated and a sensor with very low temperature dependence can be achieved with a polymer isolation layer.