Scientists have created a novel optomechanical integrated device with a resolution of 45 femtometers in a fraction of a second. Importantly, the gadget does not require a tunable laser because of its ultrawide optical bandwidth of 80 nm.
The indium phosphide (InP) membrane-on-silicon (IMOS) technology, perfect for including passive components like detectors or lasers, is the foundation for the integrated device—an optical sensor. Four waveguides or devices that confine light signals to a specific path and orientation make up the sensor, with two waveguides suspended above two output waveguides. The relative quantity of signal carried by the output waveguides on the InP membrane changes when a suspended waveguide is pushed in the direction of the waveguides. The waveguides and cantilever are fabricated using a sequence of lithography steps, and the transducers, actuator, and photodiodes make up the final sensor.
This sensor’s ability to work across a wide range of wavelengths eliminates the need for an expensive laser, one of its main advantages.
The sensor also mimics the precision of cantilevers in conventional, heavy AFMs concerning cantilever deflection. The researchers intend to create a complete “nanometrology lab” integrated into a chip that can be used for semiconductor metrology and assist in designing the upcoming generation of microchips and nanoelectronics using this new device as a foundation.
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