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Westerveld, W.J.* ; Mahmud-Ul-Hasan, M.* ; Shnaiderman, R. ; Ntziachristos, V. ; Rottenberg, X.* ; Severi, S.* ; Rochus, V.*

Sensitive, small, broadband and scalable optomechanical ultrasound sensor in silicon photonics.

Nat. Photonics 15, 341–345 (2021)
Open Access Green as soon as Postprint is submitted to ZB.
Ultrasonography1 and photoacoustic2,3 (optoacoustic) tomography have recently seen great advances in hardware and algorithms. However, current high-end systems still use a matrix of piezoelectric sensor elements, and new applications require sensors with high sensitivity, broadband detection, small size and scalability to a fine-pitch matrix. This work demonstrates an ultrasound sensor in silicon photonic technology with extreme sensitivity owing to an innovative optomechanical waveguide. This waveguide has a tiny 15 nm air gap between two movable parts, which we fabricated using new CMOS-compatible processing. The 20 μm small sensor has a noise equivalent pressure below 1.3 mPa Hz−1/2 in the measured range of 3–30 MHz, dominated by acoustomechanical noise. This is two orders of magnitude better than for piezoelectric elements of an identical size4. The demonstrated sensor matrix with on-chip photonic multiplexing5–7 offers the prospect of miniaturized catheters that have sensor matrices interrogated using just a few optical fibres, unlike piezoelectric sensors that typically use an electrical connection for each element.
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Publication type Article: Journal article
Document type Scientific Article
Keywords Resonator; Detector
ISSN (print) / ISBN 1749-4885
e-ISSN 1749-4893
Quellenangaben Volume: 15, Issue: , Pages: 341–345 Article Number: , Supplement: ,
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Publishing Place Heidelberger Platz 3, Berlin, 14197, Germany
Reviewing status Peer reviewed
Grants Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)