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Multisite silicon neural probes with integrated silicon nitride waveguides and gratings for optogenetic applications.

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Optimal optogenetic perturbation of brain circuit activity often requires light delivery in a precise spatial pattern that cannot be achieved with conventional optical fibers. We demonstrate an implantable silicon-based probe with a compact light delivery system, consisting of silicon nitride waveguides and grating couplers for out-of-plane light emission with high spatial resolution. 473 nm light is coupled into and guided in cm-long waveguide and emitted at the output grating coupler. Using the direct cut-back and out-scattering measurement techniques, the propagation optical loss of the waveguide is measured to be below 3 dB/cm. The grating couplers provide collimated light emission with sufficient irradiance for neural stimulation. Finally, a probe with multisite light delivery with three output grating emitters from a single laser input is demonstrated.

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