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Optofluidic Fabry-Pérot Micro-Cavities Comprising Curved Surfaces for Homogeneous Liquid Refractometry—Design, Simulation, and Experimental Performance Assessment

Abstract : In the scope of miniaturized optical sensors for liquid refractometry, this work details the design, numerical simulation, and experimental characterization of a Fabry-Pérot resonator consisting of two deeply-etched silicon cylindrical mirrors with a micro-tube in between holding the liquid analyte under study. The curved surfaces of the tube and the cylindrical mirrors provide three-dimensional light confinement and enable achieving stability for the cavity illuminated by a Gaussian beam input. The resonant optofluidic cavity attains a high-quality factor (Q)-over 2800-which is necessary for a sensitive refractometer, not only by providing a sharp interference spectrum peak that enables accurate tracing of the peak wavelengths shifts, but also by providing steep side peaks, which enables detection of refractive index changes by power level variations when operating at a fixed wavelength. The latter method can achieve refractometry without the need for spectroscopy tools, provided certain criteria explained in the details are met. By experimentally measuring mixtures of acetone-toluene with different ratios, refractive index variations of 0.0005 < ∆n < 0.0022 could be detected, with sensitivity as high as 5500 µW/RIU.
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Noha Gaber, Yasser Sabry, Frédéric Marty, Tarik Bourouina. Optofluidic Fabry-Pérot Micro-Cavities Comprising Curved Surfaces for Homogeneous Liquid Refractometry—Design, Simulation, and Experimental Performance Assessment. Micromachines, MDPI, 2016, 7 (4), pp.62. ⟨10.3390/mi7040062⟩. ⟨hal-02437760⟩

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