Integrated lab-on-a-chip optical biosensor using ultrathin silicon waveguide soi mmi device

Funding Number

NPRP 8-1912-1-354

Funding Sponsor

American University

Author's Department

Physics Department

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Document Type

Letter to the Editor

Publication Title

Sensors (Switzerland)

Publication Date





© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Waveguides with sub-100 nm thickness offer a promising platform for sensors. We designed and analyzed multimode interference (MMI) devices using these ultrathin platforms for use as biosensors. To verify our design methodology, we compared the measured and simulated spectra of fabricated 220-nm-thick MMI devices. Designs of the MMI biosensors based on the sub-100 nm platforms have been optimized using finite difference time domain simulations. At a length of 4 mm, the 50-nm-thick MMI sensor provides a sensitivity of roughly 420 nm/RIU and with a figure of merit (FOM) definition of sensitivity/full-width-at-half-maximum, the FOM is 133. On the other hand, using a thickness of 70 nm results in a more compact design—only 2.4 mm length was required to achieve a similar FOM, 134, with a sensitivity of 330 nm/RIU. The limits of detection (LOD) were calculated to be 7.1 × 10−6 RIU and 8.6 × 10−6 RIU for the 50 nm and the 70-nm-thick sensor, respectively. The LOD for glucose sensing was calculated to be less than 10 mg dL−1 making it useful for detecting glucose in the diabetic range. The biosensor is also predicted to be able to detect layers of protein, such as biotin-streptavidin as thin as 1 nm. The ultrathin SOI waveguide platform is promising in biosensing applications using this simple MMI structure.

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