The responses of a polymer ridge waveguide Young interferometer with and without a bilayer of Al2O3/TiO2, fabricated by atomic layer deposition, are studied and compared when applied as an aqueous chemical sensor. The phase shift of the guided mode, as a result of the change in refractive index of the cover medium, is monitored. The results indicate that the over-coating affects the linearity of the sensor response. The effect of concentration on the linearity of the sensor response is investigated by applying different concentrations of water-ethanol solution. Although the performance of the sensor is improved by the additional layers, the study reveals a non-monotonic behavior of the device. We show that it comes mainly from the adsorption of ethanol molecules on the surface of the films. Such an understanding of the platform is crucial for sensing of analytes involving polar molecules.
- atomic layer deposition
- refractive index