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8 February 2011 Fluorescence enhancement in a polymer-based photonic-crystal biosensor
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Detecting labeled or naturally-fluorescent biomolecules at very low concentrations is of a significant importance for health sciences, agricultural sciences, and security-related applications. Photonic crystals (PhC) are microfabricated nano-structures of periodic dielectric permittivity in one, two, or three dimensions that possess unique light manipulation properties. These include the ability to localize electromagnetic waves at particular PhC lattice locations. Ultra-sensitive detection using thin-film PhC structures fabricated in semiconductor materials has been demonstrated in both "active" and "passive" modalities. In the active modality, the adsorption of target molecules to the PhC surface causes a refractive index change that is translated into reflectance or transmission peak shifts. The passive modality demonstrated by our group utilizes the PhC structure to observe enhanced fluorescent emission within resonant defect cavities in a 2D PhC lattice. Integrating these semiconductor-based PhC structures with biocompatible microfluidic channels is a challenging task that can significantly increase the final cost of the sensor system. We demonstrate here soft lithographic nanomolding techniques for polymer-based PhC structures that are easily integrated with microfluidic channels to provide a portable means of biosensing. A TE bandgap of 2.857% for a 2D PhC fabricated in poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) will allow these lattices to become core structures in PhC-based biosensors incorporating both active and passive modalities. Modeling and initial optical characterization results of the Si- and PDMS-based PhC biosensor will also be presented.
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Bashar Hamza, Anand Kadiyala, Caroline Kilemi, Yuxin Liu, and Jeremy Dawson "Fluorescence enhancement in a polymer-based photonic-crystal biosensor", Proc. SPIE 7888, Frontiers in Biological Detection: From Nanosensors to Systems III, 788804 (8 February 2011);

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