Chip-scale high-precision measurements of physical quantities such as temperature, pressure, refractive index, and analytes have become common with nanophotonics and nanoplasmonics resonance cavities. Despite several important accomplishments, such optical sensors are still limited in their performances in the short and, in particular, long time regimes. Two major limitations are environmental fluctuations, which are imprinted on the measured signal, and the lack of miniaturized, scalable robust and precise methods of measuring optical frequencies directly. Here, by utilizing a frequency-locked loop combined with a reference resonator, we overcome these limitations and convert the measured signal from the optical domain to the radio-frequency domain. By doing so, we realize a highly precise on-chip sensing device with sensing precision approaching 10−8 in effective refractive index units, and 90 μK in temperature. Such an approach paves the way for single particle detection and high-precision chip-scale thermometry.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
European Research Council (ERC) (ERC-LIVIN 648575).
© 2017 Optical Society of America.
- Radio frequency photonics