Crystalline MgF$_2$ whispering gallery mode resonators for enhanced bulk index sensitivity


We report on experiments on refractrometric sensing with crystalline Whispering Gallery Mode (WGM) resonators made of magnesium fluoride, which has a refractive index that is only slightly larger than that of water (Δn ≈ 0.05). The resulting evanescent field of a WGM resonator placed in an aqueous environment penetrates therefore deep into the surrounding medium, which makes it a promising candidate for sensing applications. We measured a bulk index sensitivity of 1.09 nm/RIU (refractive index unit) in a resonator with a radius of R = 2.91 mm and intrinsic Q-factors of more than 108 in aqueous environments. Furthermore, we describe the fabrication process of crystalline WGM resonators.

The European Physical Journal Special Topics