Highly sensitive silicon Mach-Zehnder interferometer-based ultrasound sensor

Boling Ouyang, Yanlu Li, Marten Kruidhof, Roland Horsten, Roel Baets, Koen W.A. Van Dongen, Jacob Caro

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
59 Downloads (Pure)


We report a highly sensitive ultrasound sensor based on an integrated photonics silicon Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI). One arm of the MZI is located on a thin membrane, acting as the sensing part of the device. Ultrasound waves excite the membrane's vibrational mode, thus inducing modulation of the MZI transmission. The measured sensor transfer function is centered at 0.47 MHz and has a -6 dB bandwidth of 21.2%. For 1.0 mW optical input power, we obtain a high sensitivity of 0.62 mV/Pa, a low detection limit of 0.38 mPa/Hz1/2 at the resonance frequency and a large dynamic range of 59 dB. In preliminary ultrasound imaging experiments using this sensor, an image of a wire phantom is obtained. The properties of this sensor and the generated image show that this sensor is very promising for ultrasound imaging applications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE
Subtitle of host publicationIntegrated Optics : Devices, Materials, and Technologies XXIV
EditorsSonia M. Garcia-Blanco, Pavel Cheben
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781510633292
ISBN (Print)978-1-5106-3329-2
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventIntegrated Optics: Devices, Materials, and Technologies XXIV 2020 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 3 Feb 20206 Feb 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE


ConferenceIntegrated Optics: Devices, Materials, and Technologies XXIV 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • Imaging
  • Integrated photonics sensors
  • MEMS
  • MZI
  • Ultrasound


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