Optical Sensing

The research focuses on the development of on-chip sensors based on nanophotonic waveguides to be used for trace gas detection. Special waveguide designs optimized for sensing are studied, such as slot waveguides, free-standing waveguides, and photonic crystal waveguides working in the Near- and Mid- infrared spectral range. The principal detection methods used include on-chip interferometers and mid-infrared laser spectroscopy combined with chemical functionalization.


The ambition of the research is to develop a new family of sensors that are approximately 1000 times more sensitive that existing on-chip sensors within the same price and size category. The sensors will be optimized for emission measurements of methane and carbon dioxide, and installation on drones to be employed in vast and poorly accessible areas of the Arctic.


Optical trapping on a chip, and subsequent detection of nano-objects, such as particles or living organisms, further broaden our research portfolio.


The research builds on heritage of the NFR’s NORDSATSING project Sensor Technology (2009-2017), and is currently generously funded from NFR’s FRINATEK, ERC’s Starting Grant, and Tromsø Research Foundation Starting Grant.


Project website

(Jana Jágerská, Olav Gaute Hellesø)