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Design of optical waveguide for biosensor
Label-free biosensors can monitor biomolecular reactions in real-time, for example the binding of antibodies to antigens. The sensors directly monitor a physical change occurring with the binding, such as a mass increase, and thus do not rely on fluorescent or radioactive labels for monitoring reactions. This unique capability makes them interesting for basic research in biology, as well as in drug development, medical diagnostics, environmental monitoring, and process control of biological production.
Label-free sensors based on planar optical waveguides monitor the binding of molecules on the surface of waveguides etched into a dielectric thin film. Such optical sensors have a number of benefits over other types of label-free sensors, such as high sensitivity, low drift, and immunity to electromagnetic interference. However, one serious drawback is their sensitivity to temperature variation, due to the rather large dependence of the refractive index of water on temperature. The goal of this project is to combat this problem with clever design of the optical waveguides.
At the Microsystem Technology Laboratory we have we have an idea how to minimize the influence of temperature on the waveguides.
The tasks in this project are
1. Simulate different waveguide structures using state of the art electromagnetics /optics simulation tools.
2. Design sensor structures for temperature insensitive label-free biosensing based on the simulation results.
3. With the help of the supervisor, fabricate and evaluate the performance of the sensors.
As fabrication and evaluation of waveguide sensor is a time-consuming task, we realize that the exact endpoint of the task will have to be a bit flexible and dependent of the results as well as the interest of the student.
1. C. F. Carlborg, K. B. Gylfason, A. Kamierczak, F. Dortu, M. J. Bañuls Polo, A. Maquieira Catala, G. M. Kresbach, H. Sohlström, T. Moh, L. Vivien, J. Popplewell, G. Ronan, C. A. Barrios, G. Stemme and W. van der Wijngaart, A packaged optical slot-waveguide ring resonator sensor array for multiplex label-free assays in labs-on-chips, Lab Chip, Vol. 10, pp. 281?290, 2010. doi:10.1039/b914183a
2. K. B. Gylfason, C. F. Carlborg, A. Kazmierczak, F. Dortu, H. Sohlström, L. Vivien, C. A. Barrios, W. van der Wijngaart and G. Stemme, On-chip temperature compensation in an integrated slot-waveguide ring resonator refractive index sensor array, Optics Express, Vol. 18(4), pp. 3226?3237, 2010. doi:10.1364/OE.18.003226
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