We developed chip-scale remote refractive index sensors based on Rhodamine 6G (R6G)-doped polymer micro-ring lasers. The chemical, temperature, and mechanical sturdiness of the fused-silica host guaranteed a flexible deployment of dye-doped polymers for refractive index sensing. The introduction of the dye as gain medium demonstrated the feasibility of remote sensing based on the free-space optics measurement setup. Compared to the R6G-doped TZ-001, the lasing behavior of R6G-doped SU-8 polymer micro-ring laser under an aqueous environment had a narrower spectrum linewidth, producing the minimum detectable refractive index change of 4 x 10−4 RIU. The maximum bulk refractive index sensitivity (BRIS) of 75 nm/RIU was obtained for SU-8 laser-based refractive index sensors. The economical, rapid, and simple realization of polymeric micro-scale whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) laser-based refractive index sensors will further expand pathways of static and dynamic remote environmental, chemical, biological, and bio-chemical sensing.
Wan, L., Chandrahalim, H., Zhou, J., Li, Z., Chen, C., Cho, S., et al (2018). Demonstration of versatile whispering-gallery micro-lasers for remote refractive index sensing. Optics Express, 26(5), 5800–5809. https://doi.org/10.1364/OE.26.005800