Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

Committee Chair

Lawrence A. Hornak.


The importance of miniaturized sensors for quick and accurate assessments of a broad spectrum of hazardous biological agents has been highlighted by recent high profile events. Integrated optical devices based on evanescent wave interrogation techniques can register minute refractive index changes enabling detection of bioagents on the sensor surface and providing a potential for compact structure combined with a possibility of detecting several analytes simultaneously by fabricating multiple devices on the same chip. Most commonly integrated optical interrogation techniques suffer from issues of optical alignment and fabrication complexities. In addition the materials used to fabricate integrated optical devices experience drifts in material properties with time in ambient aqueous environmental conditions.;The central topic of this thesis is modeling and experimental evaluation of a new class of sensor design using a vertical stack of resonantly coupled dielectric slab waveguides exploiting evanescent wave interrogation technique. A simple but unique design strives to overcome optical alignment and complex fabrication issues. Also use of state of the art ion-assisted deposition techniques to fabricate the slab waveguide structures overcomes the problem of instabilities in waveguide material in aqueous environments due to porosity in microstructures of thin film materials when grown using conventional physical vapor deposition techniques.