Enhancement of Raman Scattering using Photonic Nanojet and Whispering Gallery Mode of a Dielectric Microstructure

We report the enhancement of Raman scattering signal by one order of magnitude using photonic nanojet (PNJ) of a lollipop shaped dielectric microstructure (LSDM) fabricated by a pulsed CO₂ laser. Here, the PNJ is generated by illuminating sphere portion of the LSDM with non-resonant laser. Unlike the surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) technique, this technique is simple, and the obtained results are highly reproducible. In addition, an efficient technique is proposed to enhance the SERS signal with the help of high quality factor optical resonance (whispering gallery mode) of a LSDM. From the theoretical simulations, it has been found that at least an order of magnitude enhancement in the SERS signal could be achieved easily using the proposed technique. We strongly believe that this report will enable the research community for improving the Raman scattering signals.

Fluorescent-Core Microcavities Based On Silicon Quantum Dots for Oil Sensing Applications

The compatibility of optical resonators with microfluidic systems may be relevant for chemical and biological applications. Here, a fluorescent-core microcavity (FCM) is investigated as a refractometric sensor for heavy oils. A high-index film of silicon quantum dots (QDs) was formed inside the capillary, supporting cylindrical fluorescence whispering gallery modes (WGMs). A set of standard refractive index oils was injected into a capillary, causing a shift of the WGM resonances toward longer wavelengths. A maximum sensitivity of 240 nm/RIU (refractive index unit) was found for a nominal oil index of 1.74. As well, a sensitivity of 22 nm/RIU was obtained for a lower index of 1.48, more typical of fuel hydrocarbons. Furthermore, the observed spectra and sensitivities were compared to theoretical predictions and reproduced via FDTD simulations, showing in general an excellent agreement. This work demonstrates the potential use of FCMs for oil sensing applications and the more generally for detecting liquid solutions with a high refractive index or high viscosity.

Light Confinement in Low Index Nanometer Areas

In this work we numerically examine structures which could confine light in nanometer areas. A system consisting of two silicon disks with in plane separation of a few tens of nanometers has been studied first. The normalized unitless effective mode volume, Veff, has been calculated for the two lowest whispering gallery mode resonances. The effective mode volume is reduced significantly as the gap between the disks decreases. In addition, the effect of the substrate is also studied. In that case, Veff of approximately the same value as the non-substrate case for a similar two disk system can be obtained by using disks almost twice as thick. We also numerically examine a structure consisting of a circular slot waveguide which is formed into a silicon disk resonator. We show that the proposed structure could have high Q resonances thus raising the belief that it is a very promising candidate for optical interconnects applications. The study includes several numerical calculations for all the geometric parameters of the structure. It also includes numerical simulations of the coupling between a waveguide and the proposed disk resonator leading to a very promising conclusion about its applicability.