Ultrasensitive plano-concave optical microresonators for ultrasound sensing

James A. Guggenheim, Jing Li, Thomas J. Allen, Richard J. Colchester, Sacha Noimark, Olumide Ogunlade, Ivan P. Parkin, Ioannis Papakonstantinou, Adrien E. Desjardins, Edward Z. Zhang, Paul C. Beard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

152 Citations (Scopus)


Highly sensitive broadband ultrasound detectors are needed to expand the capabilities of biomedical ultrasound, photoacoustic imaging and industrial ultrasonic non-destructive testing techniques. Here, a generic optical ultrasound sensing concept based on a novel plano-concave polymer microresonator is described. This achieves strong optical confinement (Q-factors > 105) resulting in very high sensitivity with excellent broadband acoustic frequency response and wide directivity. The concept is highly scalable in terms of bandwidth and sensitivity. To illustrate this, a family of microresonator sensors with broadband acoustic responses up to 40 MHz and noise-equivalent pressures as low as 1.6 mPa per √Hz have been fabricated and comprehensively characterized in terms of their acoustic performance. In addition, their practical application to high-resolution photoacoustic and ultrasound imaging is demonstrated. The favourable acoustic performance and design flexibility of the technology offers new opportunities to advance biomedical and industrial ultrasound-based techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)714-719
Number of pages6
JournalNature Photonics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the European Union project FAMOS (FP7 ICT, Contract 317744), a Ramsay Trust Memorial Fellowship, the European Research Council through European Starting Grant 310970 MOPHIM, an Innovative Engineering for Health award by the Wellcome Trust (WT101957) and King’s College London and University College London Comprehensive Cancer Imaging Centre, Cancer Research UK and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, in association with the Medical Research Council and Department of Health, UK.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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