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This content will become publicly available on February 5, 2017

Title: Slow light Mach-Zehnder interferometer as label-free biosensor with scalable sensitivity

Our design, fabrication, and characterization of a label-free Mach–Zehnder interferometer (MZI) optical biosensor that incorporates a highly dispersive one-dimensional (1D) photonic crystal in one arm are presented. The sensitivity of this slow light MZI-based sensor scales with the length of the slow light photonic crystal region. The numerically simulated sensitivity of a MZI sensor with a 16 μm long slow light region is 115,000 rad/RIU-cm, which is sevenfold higher than traditional MZI biosensors with millimeter-length sensing regions. Moreover, the experimental bulk refractive index detection sensitivity of 84,000 rad/RIU-cm is realized and nucleic acid detection is also demonstrated.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, TN (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Optics Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 41; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 0146-9592
Optical Society of America (OSA)
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
47 OTHER INSTRUMENTATION; 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES biological sensing and sensors; photonic bandgap materials; subwavelength structures; nanostructures; interference