Direct Sensing in Liquids Using Whispering-Gallery-Mode Droplet Resonators
De Natale, Paolo
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Liquid droplets suspended by the tip of a thin wire, a glass capillary, or a needle form high-Q optical resonators, thanks to surface tension. Under gravity equilibrium conditions, the maximum drop diameter is approximately 1.5 mm for paraffin oil (volume ∼ 0.5 μL) using, for instance, a silica fiber with 250 μm thickness. Whispering gallery modes are excited by a free-space near-infrared laser that is frequency locked to the cavity resonance. The droplet cavity serves as a miniature laboratory for sensing of chemical species and particles.