Photonics Research, 2023, 11 (7): 1139, Published Online: Jun. 9, 2023  

Micropascal-sensitivity ultrasound sensors based on optical microcavities

Author Affiliations
1 Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3 Songshan Lake Materials Laboratory, Dongguan 523808, China
4 State Key Laboratory for Mesoscopic Physics and Frontiers Science Center for Nano-optoelectronics, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) microcavities have been widely used for high-sensitivity ultrasound detection, owing to their optical and mechanical dual-resonance enhanced sensitivity. The ultrasound sensitivity of the cavity optomechanical system is fundamentally limited by thermal noise. In this work, we theoretically and experimentally investigate the thermal-noise-limited sensitivity of a WGM microdisk ultrasound sensor and optimize the sensitivity by varying the radius and a thickness of the microdisk, as well as using a trench structure around the disk. Utilizing a microdisk with a radius of 300 μm and thickness of 2 μm, we achieve a peak sensitivity of 1.18 μPa Hz-1/2 at 82.6 kHz. To the best of our knowledge, this represents the record sensitivity among cavity optomechanical ultrasound sensors. Such high sensitivity has the potential to improve the detection range of air-coupled ultrasound sensing technology.

Hao Yang, Xuening Cao, Zhi-Gang Hu, Yimeng Gao, Yuechen Lei, Min Wang, Zhanchun Zuo, Xiulai Xu, Bei-Bei Li. Micropascal-sensitivity ultrasound sensors based on optical microcavities[J]. Photonics Research, 2023, 11(7): 1139.

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