Fiber-integrated hollow-core light cage for gas spectroscopy
in: APL Photonics (2021)
Interfacing integrated on-chip waveguides with spectroscopic approaches represents one research direction within current photonics aiming at reducing geometric footprints and increasing device densities. Particularly relevant is to connect chip-integrated waveguides with established fiber-based circuitry, opening up the possibility for a new class of devices within the field of integrated photonics. Here, one attractive waveguide is the on-chip light cage, confining and guiding light in a low-index core through the anti-resonance effect. This waveguide, implemented via 3D nanoprinting and reaching nearly 100% overlap of mode and material of interest, uniquely provides side-wise access to the core region through the open spaces between the cage strands, drastically reducing gas diffusion times. Here, we extend the capabilities of the light cage concept by interfacing light cages and optical fibers, reaching a fully fiber-integrated on-chip waveguide arrangement with its spectroscopic capabilities demonstrated here on the example of tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy of ammonia. Controlling and optimizing the fiber circuitry integration have been achieved via automatic alignment in etched v-grooves on silicon chips. This successful device integration via 3D nanoprinting highlights the fiber-interfaced light cage to be an attractive waveguide platform for a multitude of spectroscopy-related fields, including bio-analytics, lab-on-chip photonic sensing, chemistry, and quantum metrology.