Hydrogen Sensing with Long-Range Surface Plasmon Membrane Waveguides

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Fong, Norman R.




This integrated article thesis presents the full design, fabrication, characterization and testing of a long-range surface plasmon polariton (LRSPP) cladded membrane waveguide hydrogen gas (H2) sensor with integrated grating couplers. The sensor, which is the first of its kind to be demonstrated in the literature, features a thin gold (Au) stripe embedded in an ultra-thin free standing Cytop membrane with palladium (Pd) transducer. The design is performed through finite element method (FEM) optical modeling of the LRSPP waveguide and gratings. The non-trivial fabrication process utilizes facilities at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa and is presented in detail. The process involves multi-layer dielectric deposition, blind double-sided wafer alignment, multiple metal depositions using photolithography and ebeam lithography as well as a through-wafer silicon wet etch step. The devices are passively characterized using an optical cutback technique comparing the observed waveguide attenuation to that of simulated values showing good agreement. Sensing tests are performed with hydrogen concentrations up to 3%. A best detection limit of 290 ppm is observed with a response time of 7 s to 0.6% H2 (99.4% N2). The sensor has the capability of a higher dynamic range than other thin film sensors while other simple adjustments are discussed that can be applied to improve overall performance.


Engineering - Electronics and Electrical
Materials Science




Carleton University


Chapter 3 - Rights: 
Elsevier Elsevier
Chapter 4 - Rights: 
AIP Publishing LLC AIP Publishing LLC
Chapter 5 - Rights: 
AIP Publishing LLC AIP Publishing LLC
Chapter 6 - Rights: 
The Optical Society The Optical Society

Thesis Degree Name: 

Doctor of Philosophy: 

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Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Electrical Engineering

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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