Waveguide-based optofluidics: [invited]

Christian Karnutsch (Invited author), Snjezana Tomljenovic-Hanic (Invited author), Christelle Monat (Invited author), Christian Grillet (Invited author), Peter Domachuk (Invited author), Ross McPhedran (Invited author), Benjamin J. Eggleton (Invited author), Liam O’Faolain (Invited author), Thomas F. Krauss (Invited author), Sanshui Xiao (Invited author), Asger Mortensen (Invited author)

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleResearchpeer-review


Optofluidic devices exploit the characteristics of liquids to achieve a dynamic adaptation of their optical properties. The use of liquids allows for functionalities of optical elements to be created, reconfigured or tuned. We present an overview of our work on fluid-control of optical elements and highlight the benefits of an optofluidic approach, focusing on optofluidic cavities created in silicon photonic crystal (PhC) waveguide platforms. These cavities can be spatially and spectrally reconfigured, thus allowing a dynamic control of their optical characteristics. PhC cavities are major building blocks in many applications, from microlasers and biomedical sensor systems to optical switches and integrated circuits. In this paper, we show that PhC microcavities can be formed by infusing a liquid into a selected section of a uniform PhC waveguide and that the optical properties of these cavities can be tuned and adapted. By taking advantage of the negative thermo-optic coefficient of liquids, we describe a method which renders PhC cavities insensitive to temperature changes in the environment. This is only one example where the fluid-control of optical elements results in a functionality that would be very hard to realize with other methods and techniques.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering
Pages (from-to)760615
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventPhotonics West: Integrated Optoelectronic Devices : Silicon Photonics V - San Francisco, CA, USA
Duration: 1 Jan 2010 → …


ConferencePhotonics West: Integrated Optoelectronic Devices : Silicon Photonics V
CitySan Francisco, CA, USA
Period01/01/2010 → …


  • photonic integration
  • microfluidics
  • temperature stabilization
  • microcavity
  • nanophotonics
  • silicon photonics
  • optofluidics
  • optical sensors
  • microphotonics


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