A simple geometry optical sensor based on porous silicon technology is theoretically and experimentally studied. We expose some porous silicon optical microcavities with different porous structures to several substances of environmental interest: Very large red shifts in the single transmission peak in the reflectivity spectrum due to changes in the average refractive index are observed. The phenomenon can be ascribed to capillary condensation of vapor phases in the silicon pores. We numerically compute the peak shifts as a function of the liquid volume fraction condensed into the stack by using the Bruggeman theory. The results presented are promising for vapor and liquid detection and identification.
© 2004 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: March 20, 2003
Revised Manuscript: September 5, 2003
Published: January 1, 2004
Luca De Stefano, Ivo Rendina, Luigi Moretti, Stefania Tundo, and Andrea Mario Rossi, "Smart optical sensors for chemical substances based on porous silicon technology," Appl. Opt. 43, 167-172 (2004)