Optical Resonator Microsphere Sensor With Altering Q-Factor

CIT No. 
Date Issued: 
June 24, 2003
Patent Number: 
Google Patents: 
Ming Cai
Guido Hunziker
Kerry Vahala
Paul M. Bridger
An optically based resonating sensor useful for detecting and discriminating specified substances present in the environment is provided. The resonating sensor comprises a light source and a coupler adapted to allow light to pass from the light source to a resonator wherein the light is stored for a specified period of time. The resonator is coupled to the coupler such that some portion of the light passing through the coupler enters the resonator and some portion of the light resonating within the resonator exits the resonator to the coupler. The outer surface of the resonator is modified such that the interaction of the modified outer surface of the resonator with a specified substance in the environment alters some characteristic of the light flowing through the sensor system. A detector is arranged to observe and detect the interactions between the modified outer surface and the light flowing through the system.