The microwave-to-terahertz frequency range offers unique opportunities for the sensing of liquids based on the degree of molecular orientational and electronic polarization, Debye relaxation due to intermolecular forces between (semi-)polar molecules and collective vibrational modes within complex molecules. Methods for the fast dielectric characterization of (sub-)nanolitre volumes of mostly aqueous liquids and biological cell suspensions are discussed, with emphasis on labon- chip approaches aimed towards single-cell detection and label-free flow cytometry at microwave-to-terahertz frequencies. Among the most promising approaches, photonic crystal defect cavities made from high-resistivity silicon are compared with metallic split-ring resonant systems and high quality factor (Q-factor) whispering gallery-type resonances in dielectric resonators. Applications range from accurate haemoglobin measurements on nanolitre samples to label-free detection of circulating tumor cells.
N. Klein, C. Watts, S. M. Hanham, W. J. Otter, M. M. Ahmad, and S. Lucyszyn, "Microwave-to-terahertz dielectric resonators for liquid sensing in microfluidic systems," Proc. SPIE 9934, Terahertz Emitters, Receivers, and Applications VII, 99340F (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 28, 2016; Published: 26 September 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2238545.
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