Mid-infrared spectrum is known as the “molecular fingerprint” region, where most of the trace gases have their identical absorption patterns. Photonic crystals allow the control of light-matter interactions within micro/nanoscales, offering unique advantages for gas analyzing applications. Therefore, investigating mid-infrared photonic crystal based gas sensing methods is of significant importance for the gas sensing systems with high sensitivity and portable footprint features. In recent various photonic crystal gas sensing techniques have been developing rapidly in the mid-infrared region. They operate either by detecting the optical spectrum behavior or by measuring the material properties, such as the gas absorption patterns, the refractive index, as well as the electrical conductivities. Here, we will brief the progress, and review the above-listed photonic crystal approaches in the mid-infrared range. Their uniqueness and weakness will both be presented. Although the technical level for them has not been ready for commercialization yet, their small size, weight, power consumption and cost (SWaP-C) features offer great values and indicate their enormous application potentials in future, especially under the stimulation of the newly emerging technology “Internet of Things” which heavily relies on modern SWaP-C sensor devices.
Part of the book: Photonic Crystals