Advanced Sensing with Micro-optical Whispering-Gallery-Mode Resonators

Advanced Sensing with Micro-optical Whispering-Gallery-Mode Resonators
Author(s):    Giancarlo C. Righini; Silvia Soria
Published:   2017
DOI:             10.1117/3.2272482
eISBN: 9781510610880
Description:

This Spotlight examines an increasingly popular class of optical sensors that comprises microresonators based on the propagation of whispering gallery modes (WGMs). Several 2D and 3D WGM microresonators have already proved their capabilities as general-purpose sensors (especially as biosensors), and they have potential applications outside of research laboratories. Topics include the fundamentals of WGM propagation, types and characterization of microresonators, microfabrication issues, categories of sensing (physical, chemical, and biological), and state of the art sensors.

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The number of sensor applications is steadily growing, and new application areas are opening as well, confirming that the ability to accurately sense physical, chemical, or biological parameters is of paramount importance for science, engineering, and biomedicine. In parallel, sensor technologies are improving in terms of accuracy, reliability, efficiency, robustness, miniaturization, and communications capability. The past years have shown how far sensor technology can progress; photonics has definitely largely contributed to these advances. Photonic sensors, indeed, offer fast, light, cheap, and small-footprint components and products, very often characterized by high functionality and low energy usage. Further advances can be expected due to the development of quantum photonics: quantum control over light–matter interactions would enable new classes of measurement and communications solutions that have not been possible so far.

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