‘Nanometrology lab on a chip’ within reach thanks to new compact, optical sensor

Nanowerk  May 20, 2020
On-chip compact and integrated optical motion sensing micro- and nano-optomechanical platforms that typically exploit narrow spectral resonances require tunable lasers with narrow linewidth and low spectral noise, which makes the integration of the read-out extremely challenging. Researchers in the Netherlands report a step towards the practical application of nanomechanical sensors, by presenting a sensor with ultrawide (∼80 nm) optical bandwidth. It is based on a nanomechanical, three-dimensional directional coupler with integrated dual-channel waveguide photodiodes and displays small displacement imprecision as well as large dynamic range (>30 nm). The broad optical bandwidth releases the need for a tunable laser and the on-chip photocurrent read-out replaces the external detector, opening the way to fully integrated nanomechanical sensors…read more. Open Access TECHNICAL ARTICLE

Displacement transducing by nanomechanical directional coupler. Credit: Nature Communications volume 11, Article number: 2407 (2020)

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