Hydrogen Sensing with Long-Range Surface Plasmon Membrane Waveguides

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  • This integrated article thesis presents the full design, fabrication, characterization and testing of a long-range surface plasmon polariton (LRSPP) cladded membrane waveguide hydrogen gas (H2) sensor with integrated grating couplers. The sensor, which is the first of its kind to be demonstrated in the literature, features a thin gold (Au) stripe embedded in an ultra-thin free standing Cytop membrane with palladium (Pd) transducer. The design is performed through finite element method (FEM) optical modeling of the LRSPP waveguide and gratings. The non-trivial fabrication process utilizes facilities at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa and is presented in detail. The process involves multi-layer dielectric deposition, blind double-sided wafer alignment, multiple metal depositions using photolithography and ebeam lithography as well as a through-wafer silicon wet etch step. The devices are passively characterized using an optical cutback technique comparing the observed waveguide attenuation to that of simulated values showing good agreement. Sensing tests are performed with hydrogen concentrations up to 3%. A best detection limit of 290 ppm is observed with a response time of 7 s to 0.6% H2 (99.4% N2). The sensor has the capability of a higher dynamic range than other thin film sensors while other simple adjustments are discussed that can be applied to improve overall performance.

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  • Copyright © 2016 the author(s). Theses may be used for non-commercial research, educational, or related academic purposes only. Such uses include personal study, research, scholarship, and teaching. Theses may only be shared by linking to Carleton University Institutional Repository and no part may be used without proper attribution to the author. No part may be used for commercial purposes directly or indirectly via a for-profit platform; no adaptation or derivative works are permitted without consent from the copyright owner.
Date Created
  • 2016


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