25 April 2012 Slotted photonic crystals for biosensing applications
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We discuss the properties and potential of slotted photonic crystals devices as small optical, label-free biosensors. This approach combines slot waveguides, which guide light in a narrow air slot, with photonic crystals in which cavities and slow light behaviour can be engineered. We use cavities based upon the heterostructure approach, demonstrating experimental quality factors of up to 50,000 in air and 4,000 in water. As the peak of the cavity mode interacts with the contents of the slot, small changes in refractive index can be inferred from the cavity resonant wavelength with high sensitivity (~500 nm/RIU). We also integrate microfluidic channels, which when combined with the small footprint of each sensor, allows potential for dense multiplexing with only micro-litres of analyte. As the dispersive properties of the fundamental mode of a standard and slotted photonic crystal differ greatly, a suitable interface for coupling into the device must be found. We here utilise a resonant defect approach, which preferentially couples into the slot mode. Functionalising the surface of the device with antibodies allows us to detect specific binding of a target protein on the sensor surface. As a proof of principle demonstration we show detection of dissolved avidin concentrations as low as 15 nM using biotin functionalised devices.
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M. G. Scullion, M. G. Scullion, T. F. Krauss, T. F. Krauss, A. Di Falco, A. Di Falco, "Slotted photonic crystals for biosensing applications", Proc. SPIE 8425, Photonic Crystal Materials and Devices X, 842507 (25 April 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.922239; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.922239

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