Computer simulation study about the dependence of amorphous silicon photonic waveguides efficiency on the material quality

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Abstract

Amorphous silicon PECVD photonic integrated devices are promising candidates for low cost sensing applications. This manuscript reports a simulation analysis about the impact on the overall efficiency caused by the lithography imperfections in the deposition process. The tolerance to the fabrication defects of a photonic sensor based on surface plasmonic resonance is analysed. The simulations are performed with FDTD and BPM algorithms. The device is a plasmonic interferometer composed by an a-Si:H waveguide covered by a thin gold layer. The sensing analysis is performed by equally splitting the input light into two arms, allowing the sensor to be calibrated by its reference arm. Two different 1 × 2 power splitter configurations are presented: a directional coupler and a multimode interference splitter. The waveguide sidewall roughness is considered as the major negative effect caused by deposition imperfections. The simulation results show that plasmonic effects can be excited in the interferometric waveguide structure, allowing a sensing device with enough sensitivity to support the functioning of a bio sensor for high throughput screening. In addition, the good tolerance to the waveguide wall roughness, points out the PECVD deposition technique as reliable method for the overall sensor system to be produced in a low-cost system. The large area deposition of photonics structures, allowed by the PECVD method, can be explored to design a multiplexed system for analysis of multiple biomarkers to further increase the tolerance to fabrication defects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number30502
JournalEPJ Applied Physics
Volume90
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020

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