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Proceedings Paper

Determination of thickness and density of a wet multilayer polymer system with sub-nanometer resolution by means of a dual polarization silicon-on-insulator microring
Author(s): J.-W. Hoste; Bruno G. De Geest; Peter Bienstman
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Paper Abstract

Determination of both thickness and refractive index of a thin biomolecular or polymer layer in wet conditions is a task not easily performed. Available tools such as XPS, AFM, ellipsometry and integrated photonic sensors often have difficulties with the native wet condition of said agents-under-test, perform poorly in the sub-5 nm regime or do not determine both characteristics in an absolute simultaneous way. The thickness of a multilayer system is often determined by averaging over a large amount of layers, obscuring details of the individual layers. Even more, the interesting behavior of the first bound layers can be covered in noise or assumptions might be made on either thickness or refractive index in order to determine the other. To demonstrate a solution to these problems, a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) microring is used to study the adsorption of a bilayer polymer system on the silicon surface of the ring. To achieve this, the microring is simultaneously excited with TE and TM polarized light and by tracking the shifts of both resonant wavelengths, the refractive index and the thickness of the adsorbed layer can be determined with a resolution on thickness smaller than 0.1 nm and a resolution on refractive index smaller than 0.01 RIU. An adhesive polyethyleneimine (PEI) layer is adsorbed to the surface, followed by the adsorption of poly(sodium-4-styrene sulfonate) (PSS) and poly(allylamine) hydrochloride (PAH). This high-resolution performance in wet conditions with the added benefits of the SOI microring platform such as low cost and multiplexibility make for a powerful tool to analyze thin layer systems, which is promising to research binding conformation of proteins as well.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 March 2015
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 9337, Nanoscale Imaging, Sensing, and Actuation for Biomedical Applications XII, 93370E (11 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2079074
Show Author Affiliations
J.-W. Hoste, Ghent Univ. (Belgium)
Bruno G. De Geest, Ghent Univ. (Belgium)
Peter Bienstman, Ghent Univ. (Belgium)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9337:
Nanoscale Imaging, Sensing, and Actuation for Biomedical Applications XII
Alexander N. Cartwright; Dan V. Nicolau, Editor(s)

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