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A method and system described for sensing a displacement by receiving and propagating a laser light signal with an etched waveguide that is configured to enable an evanescent optical field above the waveguide surface. A movable perturber can be positioned so the perturber interacts with the evanescent optical field above the waveguide surface. An optical phase shift can be induced in the waveguide when the movable perturber is displaced in the evanescent optical field, and the optical phase shift can be measured with an optical readout circuit.