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Silicon Photonic Multi-analyte Sensing System and Surface Plasmon Enhanced Chirality Detection Open Access


Other title
Silicon Photonics
Photonic Sensor
Surface Plasmon
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Mi, Guangcan
Supervisor and department
Van, Vien (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Khajehoddin, Ali (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Evoy, Stephane (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Sabarinathan, Jayshri (Western University)
Meldrum, Al (Physics)
Daneshmand, Mojgan (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Photonics and Plasmas
Date accepted
Graduation date
2017-06:Spring 2017
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Optical sensing and measurement technology provides one of the most accurate tools for detecting and characterizing materials. They are robust, can provide a rich amount of information about the analytes, and are amenable to miniaturization and large-scale integration on a chip for certain applications. In this thesis, we develop novel optical sensing and measurement methods for two important applications, namely environmental greenhouse gas monitoring and chiral compound analysis for pharmaceutical and biochemical research. The first part of the thesis aims to develop an integrated multi-analyte gas sensor on a silicon photonic platform for the parallel detection of CO2 and H2 gas concentrations in the atmosphere. The development of a compact sensor that can measure CO2 gas concentrations at the atmospheric level is motivated by the need for accurate monitoring of greenhouse gas for climate change study. A key contribution of the thesis is to demonstrate a silicon photonic refractometric CO2 sensor based on a novel functional material that can be integrated with other gas sensors on the same chip. A prototype dual-gas sensor chip based on a wavelength-multiplexed microring array was also developed for the simultaneous detection of CO2 and H2 gases. Gas sensing experiments were conducted to evaluate the performance of each sensor in the presence of other analytes, and to address important issues related to multi-analyte sensing environment such as cross-sensitivity. The results obtained and knowledge gained from the study help lay the groundwork for future development of multi-analyte sensor systems on a chip for monitoring greenhouse gases and industrial emissions. The second part of thesis aims to develop novel ellipsometric methods for measuring the chirality of biochemical compounds. In particular we explore the unique properties of chiral surface plasmon polaritons for enhancing the detection sensitivity of these methods. The research is motivated by the important role of chirality in governing the biological functionalities of biochemical compounds. Measurement of chirality provides information about molecule conformation, enantiomeric purity or excess, and chiral compound concentrations, which are important in pharmaceutical research and other biomedical fields. The ellipsometric methods developed could offer crucial advantages over existing techniques in terms of accuracy, small sample size and the ability to measure multiple optical quantities in the same setup. In addition, chiral surface plasmon waveguide structures investigated offer promising solutions for realizing chiral sensors on an integrated platform.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
Citation for previous publication
Guangcan Mi and Vien Van, "Characteristics of surface plasmon polaritons at a chiral–metal interface," Optics Letters, Vol. 39, No. 7, pp. 2028-2031, 2014.Guangcan Mi and Vien Van, “Chiral surface plasmon polaritons and their application for chirality detection,” in Photonics North 2014, SPIE: Montreal, Quebec, 2014.Guangcan Mi and Vien Van, “A differential ellipsometric method for accurate chirality measurement” in IEEE Photonics Conference 2016, IEEE: Waikoloa, HI, 2016.Guangcan Mi, Cameron Horvath, Mirwais Aktary, and Vien Van, "Silicon microring refractometric sensor for atmospheric CO2 gas monitoring," Optics Express, Vol. 24, No. 2, pp. 1773-80, 2016.Guangcan Mi, Cameron Horvath, Mirwais Aktary, and Vien Van. "Compact silicon photonic refractometric sensor for atmospheric CO2 gas monitoring," IEEE Photonics Conference 2015, pp. 619-620, 2015.

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