Abstract

We present the design of simultaneous high-quality (Q)-factor and high-sensitivity (S) photonic crystal nanofiber cavities (PCNFCs) made of single silica nanofiber that have a low-index contrast (ratio=1.45). By using the three-dimensional finite-difference time-domain method, two different resonant modes, dielectric mode (DM) and air mode (AM), are designed and optimized to achieve an ultrahigh figure of merit (FOM), respectively. Numerical simulations are performed to study the Q-factors and sensitivities of the proposed PCNFCs. It shows that for both DM- and AM-based PCNFCs, respectively, the Q-factors and sensitivities of Q1.1×107, S=563.6  nm/RIU and Q2.1×105, S=736.8  nm/RIU can be estimated, resulting in FOMs as high as 4.31×106 and 1.13×105, respectively. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first silica nanofiber cavity geometry that simultaneously features high Q and high S for both DM and AM in PCNFCs. Compared with the state of the art of nanofiber-based cavities, the cavity Q-factor to mode volume (V) ratio (Q/V) in this work has been improved more than two orders of magnitude. The demonstration of a high Q/V cavity in low-index-contrast nanofibers can open up versatile applications using a broad range of functional and flexible fibers. Moreover, due to the extended evanescent field and small mode volumes, the proposed PCNFCs are ideal platforms for remote ultra-sensitive refractive-index-based gas sensing without the need for complicated coupling systems.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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