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Published January 2014 | public
Journal Article

Ultrasensitive Gas-Phase Chemical Sensing Based on Functionalized Photonic Crystal Nanobeam Cavities


Photonic crystal nanobeam cavities with high-quality factors are very sensitive to the changes of the dielectric properties of their surroundings. Utilizing this high sensitivity and by applying chemical functionalization, an ultrasensitive chemical sensor for gases based on a nanobeam cavity was demonstrated. A limit of detection of 1.5 parts-per-billion (ppb) in ambient conditions, determined from the noise level of the system, was achieved for nerve agent simulant methyl salicylate. The nanobeam cavity's nonlinear thermo-optical bistability is also utilized to realize a threshold detector for cumulative chemical exposure.

Additional Information

© 2013 American Chemical Society. Received for review September 27, 2013 and accepted December 3, 2013. Published online December 03, 2013. This work is supported by the U.S. Army Research Office (Award No. W911NF-11-C-0052). M.L. also acknowledges funding support from the National Science Foundation (NSF CMMI-1162204). Parts of this work were carried out in the Kavli Nanoscience Institute at Caltech and the University of Minnesota Nanofabrication Center, which receives partial support from the NSF through the NNIN program, and the Characterization Facility, which is a member of the NSF-funded Materials Research Facilities Network via the MRSEC program.

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March 5, 2024