On-chip Spectroscopy with Thermally Tuned High-Q Photonic Crystal Cavities

Document Type


Publication Date


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



Spectroscopic methods are a sensitive way to determine the chemical composition of potentially hazardous materials. Here, we demonstrate that thermally tuned high-Q photonic crystal cavities can be used as a compact high-resolution on-chip spectrometer. We have used such a chip-scale spectrometer to measure the absorption spectra of both acetylene and hydrogen cyanide in the 1550 nm spectral band and show that we can discriminate between the two chemical species even though the two materials have spectral features in the same spectral region. Our results pave the way for the development of chip-size chemical sensors that can detect toxic substances. The authors would like to thank Antonio Badolato, Sebastian A. Schulz, David D. Smith, and Jerry Kuper for many fruitful discussions and acknowledge the assistance of Emily Conant in the early stages of the experiment. This work was supported by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency–Joint Science and Technology Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (Grant No. HDTRA1-10-1-0025), by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (under Contract No. NNX15 CM47P), and by the Canada Excellence Research Chairs Program. Fabrication of the photonic crystal nanocavities was performed at the Cornell NanoScale Facility, a member of the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI), which is supported by the National Science Foundation (Grant No. ECCS-15420819).

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Applied Physics Letters, v. 108, issue 2, art. 021105