This research explores the possibility of optical detection of chemicals using an integrated system on an indium phosphide substrate. It will include a laser source, integrated directly with a microcantilever and photodetectors, that will permit the precise tracking of the resonant frequency of the cantilever. Functionalized coatings on the cantilever will be used to absorb chemicals from the environment and this interaction will change the mass, and consequently, the resonant frequency, of the cantilever. The system implementation will include a servo-control circuit. The integration of a micromechanical and photonic system is expected to yield very high sensitivity.
Integrated Indium Phosphide Based Microsystem for Chemical Sensing is a one-year, $60K grant.