Abstract

AlGaN microdisks were fabricated via a top-down process using electron-beam lithography, inductively coupled plasma reactive-ion etching, and hydrogen-environment thermal etching from commercial epitaxial wafers with a 100–300 nm thick AlGaN layer grown on a c-plane GaN layer by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition. The hydrogen-environment thermal etching performed well in undercutting the AlGaN microdisks owing to the selective etching for the GaN layer. The AlGaN microdisks acted as the whispering gallery mode (WGM) optical microresonators, exhibiting sharp resonant peaks in room temperature photoluminescence spectra. The evanescent component of the whispering gallery mode (WGM) is influenced by the ambient condition of the microdisk, resulting in the shift of the resonant peaks. The phenomenon is considered to be used for microsensors. Using the WGM in the AlGaN microdisks, we demonstrated microsensors and a microsensor system, which can potentially be used to evaluate biological and chemical actions in a microscale area in real time.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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