Neural network-based on-chip spectroscopy using a scalable plasmonic encoder

12/01/2020 ∙ by Calvin Brown, et al. ∙ 11

Conventional spectrometers are limited by trade-offs set by size, cost, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and spectral resolution. Here, we demonstrate a deep learning-based spectral reconstruction framework, using a compact and low-cost on-chip sensing scheme that is not constrained by the design trade-offs inherent to grating-based spectroscopy. The system employs a plasmonic spectral encoder chip containing 252 different tiles of nanohole arrays fabricated using a scalable and low-cost imprint lithography method, where each tile has a unique geometry and, thus, a unique optical transmission spectrum. The illumination spectrum of interest directly impinges upon the plasmonic encoder, and a CMOS image sensor captures the transmitted light, without any lenses, gratings, or other optical components in between, making the entire hardware highly compact, light-weight and field-portable. A trained neural network then reconstructs the unknown spectrum using the transmitted intensity information from the spectral encoder in a feed-forward and non-iterative manner. Benefiting from the parallelization of neural networks, the average inference time per spectrum is  28 microseconds, which is orders of magnitude faster compared to other computational spectroscopy approaches. When blindly tested on unseen new spectra (N = 14,648) with varying complexity, our deep-learning based system identified 96.86 average peak localization error, bandwidth error, and height error of 0.19 nm, 0.18 nm, and 7.60 fabrication defects that may arise during the imprint lithography process, which further makes it ideal for applications that demand cost-effective, field-portable and sensitive high-resolution spectroscopy tools.

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