In this talk, I will review the use of microresonators for numerous sensor applications and discuss their use for biosensing via minute refractive index (RI) changes. High sensitivity RI-based sensing can be done in non-resonant materials at wavelengths for which one can make high-Q WGM (whispering gallery mode) microresonators, where the sensitivity is derived by small wavelength shifts in the high-Q microresonators, and as such, most microresonator research has focused on visible and near-infrared microresonators. I will discuss research at the University of New Mexico on high-Q mid-infrared microspherical resonators for sensing via RI changes as well as via MIR-resonant material molecular absorption features, and on related work on generation of narrow linewidth (NLW) laser outputs in the mid-infrared from microresonators based on rare-earth-doped fluorozirconate glasses. Such wavelength tunable NLW outputs appear very promising for sub-ppb sensing of numerous molecular species.
If time permits, I will also discuss some recent work on the development of alternative narrow linewidth tunable mid-infrared lasers in the 3-7 micron range with the use of Raman gain in pi-phase-shifted DFB-based short fiber Raman lasers constructed with low loss single mode chalcogenide fibers.
Prof. Ravinder Jain received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1974. After spending over 15 years in industry, notably Bell Labs, Hughes Research Laboratories, and Amoco Technology Company, he joined the University of New Mexico and is currently a Professor with joint appointment in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and the Department of Physics & Astronomy.
Prof. Jain’s major areas of research are quantum electronics, optoelectronics, electro-optics, and experimental solid-state physics. His interests include fiber optics, nanostructures, nonlinear optics, optical biosensors, photonic circuits and ultrafast phenomena. He is serving as an Associate Editor for Optics Express.
Prof. Jain is a Fellow of the Optical Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), and the American Physical Society. He is also a recipient of numerous professional awards including the SPIE Harold E. Edgerton Award in High-Speed Optics and the Fulbright Distinguished Chair Award.