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Advanced Materials and Device Technology for Photonic Electric Field Sensors

Advanced Materials and Device Technology for Photonic Electric Field Sensors

Photonic methods for electric field sensing have been demonstrated across the electromagnetic spectrum from near-DC to millimeter waves, and at field strengths from microvolts-per-meter to megavolts-per-meter. The advantages of the photonic approach include a high degree of electrical isolation, wide bandwidth, minimum perturbation of the incident field, and the ability to operate in harsh environments. Aerospace applications of this technology span a wide range of frequencies and field strengths. They include, at the high-frequency/high-field end, measurement of high-power electromagnetic pulse s, and at the low-frequency/low-field end, in-flight monitoring of electrophysiological signals. The demands of these applications continue to spur the development of novel materials and device structures to achieve increased sensitivity, wider bandwidth, and greater high-field measurement capability. This paper will discuss several new directions in photonic electric field sensing technology for defense applications. The first is the use of crystal ion slicing to prepare high-quality, single-crystal electro-optic thin films on low-dielectric-constant, RF-friendly substrates. The second is the use of two-dimensional photonic crystal structures to enhance the electro-optic response through slow-light propagation effects. The third is the use of ferroelectric relaxor materials with extremely high electro-optic coefficients.

Presented at SPIE Nanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environments 2012

James E. Toney
Vincent E. Stenger
Stuart A. Kingsley
Andrea Pollick
Sri Sriram
Edward Taylor

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