Slotted photonic crystal sensors
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Optical biosensors are increasingly being considered for lab-on-a-chip applications due to their benefits such as small size, biocompatibility, passive behaviour and lack of the need for fluorescent labels. The light guiding mechanisms used by many of them results in poor overlap of the optical field with the target molecules, reducing the maximum sensitivity achievable. This review article presents a new platform for optical biosensors, namely slotted photonic crystals, which provide higher sensitivities due to their ability to confine, spatially and temporally, the optical mode peak within the analyte itself. Loss measurements showed values comparable to standard photonic crystals, confirming their ability to be used in real devices. A novel resonant coupler was designed, simulated, and experimentally tested, and was found to perform better than other solutions within the literature. Combining with cavities, microfluidics and biological functionalization allowed proof-of-principle demonstrations of protein binding to be carried out. Higher sensitivities were observed in smaller structures than possible with most competing devices reported in the literature. This body of work presents slotted photonic crystals as a realistic platform for complete on-chip biosensing; addressing key design, performance and application issues, whilst also opening up exciting new ideas for future study.
Scullion , M G , Krauss , T F & Di Falco , A 2013 , ' Slotted photonic crystal sensors ' Sensors , vol. 13 , no. 3 , pp. 3675-3710 . DOI: 10.3390/s130303675
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