On-chip photonic crystal waveguide for chemical and biological sensing



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Photonic crystal waveguide (PCW) based device has been used in many applications in recent years due to its unique slow light effect. In this work, the application of PCW on sensing is presented. First, we present a PCW structure based Infrared (IR) spectroscopy combining with slot structure which has a large electric field enhancement for light-matter interaction for chemical sensing. The slow light effect and the electric field enhancement of our designed structure greatly enhance the absorption factor of chemical analytes by 1000. We then use multimode interference (MMI) optical splitter and Y junction combiner to connect two PCWs to show multiplexed detections of two chemicals on a single chip. Our results show the detection is down to 1 ppb for xylene in water and 100ppm for methane in nitrogen. We also present PCW microcavities structure for biological sensing in our work. Due to its high quality factor and easier immobilization of biomaterials, we are able to use ink jet printing method to bind the biomaterials on top of our chip. We choose linear-type 13 (L13, missing 13 holes) microcavities to do the biosensing for antibodies and cancer cell lysates because of its higher sensitivity combining with slow light effect. Our work achieves the cancer cell lysates detection down to 2 cells/μl., and further applications will be presented in our group in the future.