A simplified broadband coupling approach applied to chemically robust sol-gel, planar integrated optical waveguides

John Thomas Bradshaw, Sergio B. Mendes, Steven S Saavedra

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A new generation waveguide spectrometer with broadband coupling capabilities has been developed. As opposed to previous devices, this attenuated total reflection (ATR) spectrometer is much simpler in design, is more chemically robust, and transmits light down to at least 400 nm. The attenuated total reflection element consists of a single-mode, planar integrated optical waveguide fabricated by dip-coating a ∼ 300 nm thick, sol-gel composite layer on a glass substrate. A commercially available prism is used as the incoupler with an integral holographic diffraction grating acting as the dispersive outcoupling element. The transmission of narrow band-pass filters was used to compare the response of the waveguide spectrometer to that of a conventional transmission instrument. Spectral resolution was assessed by measuring the fwhm of various laser lines, which were found to range from 0.5 to 1.3 nm. The measured limits of detection for the waveguide spectrometer from 400 to 600 nm are 8.0 and 10.1 milliabsorbance units for TE and TM polarizations, respectively. Finally, to demonstrate the application of this technology to a molecular film confined to a solid-liquid interface, visible ATR spectra of an adsorbed submonolayer of horse heart cytochrome c were acquired. A procedure to correct the waveguide spectra for the wavelength dependence in ATR path length is described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1751-1759
Number of pages9
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry

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