Hydrogen detection using a functionalized photonic crystal vertical cavity laser

Benjamin G. Griffin, Amir Arbabi, Ansas M. Kasten, Kent D. Choquette, Lynford L. Goddard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A thin layer of palladium (Pd) was deposited on the surface of an etched air hole photonic crystal (PhC) vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) to form a hydrogen gas H 2 sensor. H 2 reacts with Pd, forming PdH \rm x, which induces a shift in the complex refractive index. With Pd on its surface, the reflectivity of the top distributed Bragg reflector depends on the H 2 concentration. We present device operation theory and experimental results showing a 60% output power increase and a 52 pm redshift of the lasing wavelength at 4% H 2. Since the PhC VCSEL laser is single mode and the wavelength shift is comparable to the laser linewidth, the sensor can provide an accurate quantification of the H 2 concentration over the range of 0-4% H 2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6044692
Pages (from-to)160-168
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2012


  • Laser sensors
  • photonic crystals
  • vertical cavity surface emitting lasers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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