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Proceedings Paper

Label-free biosensing using silicon planar waveguide technology
Author(s): Adam Densmore; Dan-Xia Xu; Philip Waldron; Siegfried Janz; André Delâge; G. Lopinski; T. Mischki; Pavel Cheben; Edith Post; Jean Lapointe; Jens H. Schmid
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Paper Abstract

We exploit the unique properties of the silicon-on-insulator material platform to demonstrate a new series of planar waveguide evanescent field sensors for biological / chemical sensing. These sensors, combined with state-of-the-art surface functionalization chemistries, offer a sensitive, label-free means for the specific detection of biomolecules, without the need for fluorescent tags employed in conventional fluorescence-based biochips. The use of silicon photonic wire waveguide technology allows sensors with extremely small footprint and small radius of curvature to be fabricated, facilitating the development of densely packed sensor arrays for multi-parameter analysis, particularly attractive for drug discovery, pathogen detection, genomics and disease diagnostics. We show that high index contrast silicon photonic wire waveguides not only provide the above stated advantages but also offer increased sensitivity over that of evanescent field sensors constructed on other common waveguide material platforms. This results from the unique properties of the optical modes of silicon photonic wire waveguides, which exhibit very large surface electric field magnitude and strong localization near the waveguide surface. We discuss the design and fabrication of silicon-on-insulator-based Mach-Zehnder interferometer sensors and experimentally demonstrate their performance to detect bulk solution refractive index change and to monitor the specific adsorption of streptavidin to biotinylated waveguides.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 October 2007
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 6796, Photonics North 2007, 67962X (26 October 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.778936
Show Author Affiliations
Adam Densmore, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
Dan-Xia Xu, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
Philip Waldron, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
Siegfried Janz, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
André Delâge, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
G. Lopinski, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
T. Mischki, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
Pavel Cheben, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
Edith Post, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
Jean Lapointe, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
Jens H. Schmid, National Research Council Canada (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6796:
Photonics North 2007
John Armitage, Editor(s)

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