Transport at Nanoscale Interfaces Laboratory

Integrated photodetectors for compact Fourier-transform waveguide spectrometers

M. J. Grotevent, S. Yakunin, D. Bachmann, C. Romero, J. R. Vázquez de Aldana, M. Madi, M. Calame, M.  V. Kovalenko & I. Shorubalko 

Nature Photonics (2022)


Extreme miniaturization of infrared spectrometers is critical for their integration into next-generation consumer electronics, wearables and ultrasmall satellites. In the infrared, there is a necessary compromise between high spectral bandwidth and high spectral resolution when miniaturizing dispersive elements, narrow band-pass filters and reconstructive spectrometers. Fourier-transform spectrometers are known for their large bandwidth and high spectral resolution in the infrared; however, they have not been fully miniaturized. Waveguide-based Fourier-transform spectrometers offer a low device footprint, but rely on an external imaging sensor such as bulky and expensive InGaAs cameras. Here we demonstrate a proof-of-concept miniaturized Fourier-transform waveguide spectrometer that incorporates a subwavelength and complementary-metal–oxide–semiconductor-compatible colloidal quantum dot photodetector as a light sensor. The resulting spectrometer exhibits a large spectral bandwidth and moderate spectral resolution of 50 cm−1 at a total active spectrometer volume below 100 μm × 100 μm × 100 μm. This ultracompact spectrometer design allows the integration of optical/analytical measurement instruments into consumer electronics and space devices.