Project TitleElectric Field Sensor with Ultra-Sensitivity over Broad Frequency
Track Code2010-149
Short Description

Ultra-sensitive electric field detector with greatly increased broad frequency range sensitivity.

#communication #wireless #devices #optoelectronic #photonics #nonlinearoptics #sensors #optical


Northwestern researchers have designed an ultra-sensitive electric field detector (E-FED) over large frequency ranges. Despite the level of difficulty in achieving high sensitivity over a broad frequency range, the investigators amplify the sensitivity to electric field strength by 150 times using two unique features. They apply a micro-antenna to the electro-optic material and also use a transparent conducting oxide (TCO) enhancement directly across the electro-optic material to conduct voltage. Furthermore, they utilize multi-pass and/or resonator structures to increase sensitivity another ten-fold and an optical-carrier-reduction scheme using an optical interference technique with matched arms. In total, the multiple factors together offer a 100,000 times increase in sensitivity compared to current EO approaches that can only detect tens of mV/mHz1/2.

TagsCOMMUNICATIONS: wireless, DEVICES: optoelectronic, PHOTONICS: nonlinear optics, SENSOR: optical
Posted DateMar 18, 2013 3:37 PM


Seng-Tiong Ho*

Fei Yi


  • Optical Communications
  • RF Photonics
  • Optical Interconnect


  • Increased sensitivity to electric field strength
  • Wider bandwidth
  • Compact and power efficient


IP Status

Issued US Patent No. 8,582,929

Contact Information

Zach Brown, PhD
Invention Associate

(p) 847.491.4629