Optical whispering-gallery-mode resonators (WGMRs) have emerged as promising platforms for label-free detection of nano-objects. The ultimate sensitivity of WGMRs is determined by the strength of the light-matter interaction quantified by quality factor/mode volume, Q/V, and the resolution is determined by Q. To date, to improve sensitivity and precision of detection either WGMRs have been doped with rare-earth ions to compensate losses and increase Q or plasmonic resonances have been exploited for their superior field confinement and lower V. Here, we demonstrate, for the first time to our knowledge, enhanced detection of single-nanoparticle-induced mode splitting in a silica WGMR via Raman gain-assisted loss compensation and WGM Raman microlaser. In particular, the use of the Raman microlaser provides a dopant-free, self-referenced, and self-heterodyned scheme with a detection limit ultimately determined by the thermorefractive noise. Notably, we detected and counted individual nanoparticles with polarizabilities down to 3.82 × 10(-6) ?m(3) by monitoring a heterodyne beatnote signal. This level of sensitivity is achieved without exploiting plasmonic effects, external references, or active stabilization and frequency locking. Single nanoparticles are detected one at a time; however, their characterization by size or polarizability requires ensemble measurements and statistical averaging. This dopant-free scheme retains the inherited biocompatibility of silica and could find widespread use for sensing in biological media. The Raman laser and operation band of the sensor can be tailored for the specific sensing environment and the properties of the targeted materials by changing the pump laser wavelength. This scheme also opens the possibility of using intrinsic Raman or parametric gain for loss compensation in other systems where dissipation hinders progress and limits applications.
Whispering gallery mode resonators (WGMRs) take advantage of strong light confinement and long photon lifetime for applications in sensing, optomechanics, microlasers and quantum optics. However, their rotational symmetry and low radiation loss impede energy exchange between WGMs and the surrounding. As a result, free-space coupling of light into and from WGMRs is very challenging. In previous schemes, resonators are intentionally deformed to break circular symmetry to enable free-space coupling of carefully aligned focused light, which comes with bulky size and alignment issues that hinder the realization of compact WGMR applications. Here, we report a new class of nanocouplers based on cavity enhanced Rayleigh scattering from nano-scatterer(s) on resonator surface, and demonstrate whispering gallery microlaser by free-space optical pumping of an Ytterbium doped silica microtoroid via the scatterers. This new scheme will not only expand the range of applications enabled by WGMRs, but also provide a possible route to integrate them into solar powered green photonics.
Detecting and characterizing single nanoparticles and airborne viruses are of paramount importance for disease control and diagnosis, for environmental monitoring, and for understanding size dependent properties of nanoparticles for developing innovative products. Although single particle and virus detection have been demonstrated in various platforms, single-shot size measurement of each detected particle has remained a significant challenge. Here, we present a nanoparticle size spectrometry scheme for label-free, real-time and continuous detection and sizing of single Influenza A virions, polystyrene and gold nanoparticles using split whispering-gallery-modes (WGMs) in an ultra-high-Q resonator. We show that the size of each particle and virion can be measured as they continuously bind to the resonator one-by-one, eliminating the need for ensemble measurements, stochastic analysis or imaging techniques employed in previous works. Moreover, we show that our scheme has the ability to identify the components of particle mixtures.
There is a strong demand for portable systems that can detect and characterize individual pathogens and other nanoscale objects without the use of labels, for applications in human health, homeland security, environmental monitoring and diagnostics. However, most nanoscale objects of interest have low polarizabilities due to their small size and low refractive index contrast with the surrounding medium. This leads to weak light-matter interactions, and thus makes the label-free detection of single nanoparticles very difficult. Micro- and nano-photonic devices have emerged as highly sensitive platforms for such applications, because the combination of high quality factor Q and small mode volume V leads to significantly enhanced light-matter interactions. For example, whispering gallery mode microresonators have been used to detect and characterize single influenza virions and polystyrene nanoparticles with a radius of 30 nm (ref. 12) by measuring in the transmission spectrum either the resonance shift or mode splitting induced by the nanoscale objects. Increasing Q leads to a narrower resonance linewidth, which makes it possible to resolve smaller changes in the transmission spectrum, and thus leads to improved performance. Here, we report a whispering gallery mode microlaser-based real-time and label-free detection method that can detect individual 15-nm-radius polystyrene nanoparticles, 10-nm gold nanoparticles and influenza A virions in air, and 30 nm polystyrene nanoparticles in water. Our approach relies on measuring changes in the beat note that is produced when an ultra-narrow emission line from a whispering gallery mode microlaser is split into two modes by a nanoscale object, and these two modes then interfere. The ultimate detection limit is set by the laser linewidth, which can be made much narrower than the resonance linewidth of any passive resonator. This means that microlaser sensors have the potential to detect objects that are too small to be detected by passive resonator sensors.
We report controlled manipulation of mode splitting in an optical microresonator coupled to two nanoprobes. It is demonstrated that, by controlling the positions of the nanoprobes, the split modes can be tuned simultaneously or individually and experience crossing or anti-crossing in frequency and linewidth. A tunable transition between standing wave mode and travelling wave mode is also observed. Underlying physics is discussed by developing a two-scatterer model which can be extended to multiple sscatterers. Observed rich dynamics and tunability of split modes in a single microresonator will find immediate applications in optical sensing, opto-mechanics, filters and will provide a platform to study strong light-matter interactions in two-mode cavities.
We report self-pulsation in an erbium-doped silica toroidal microcavity laser coupled to a tapered fiber and investigate the effects of pump power and taper-cavity coupling condition on the dynamic behaviors of the pulse train. The microcavity is pumped at 1444.8 nm, and lasing occurs at 1560.2 nm with a threshold of 12 microW. Experimental results are interpreted within the framework of ion-pair induced self-quenching model.
We study the oscillatory thermal dynamics of a high-Q PDMS-coated silica microtoroid both experimentally and theoretically. We demonstrate that the competing thermo-optic effects in silica and PDMS lead to thermally-induced self-modulation in the transmission spectra. A dynamical model is built using thermal dynamics and coupled-mode theory to analyze the oscillation behaviors. Effects of input power, taper-cavity air gap and wavelength scanning speed on the oscillation behaviors are investigated with a detailed comparison between theory and experiments.
We describe a method that enables free-standing whispering-gallery-mode microresonators, and report spectral tuning of photonic molecules formed by coupled free and on-chip resonators with different geometries and materials. We study direct coupling via evanescent fields of free silica microtoroids and microspheres with on-chip polymer coated silica microtoroids. We demonstrate thermal tuning of resonance modes to achieve maximal spectral overlap, mode splitting induced by direct coupling, and the effects of distance between the resonators on the splitting spectra.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.