Abstract

A promising label-free approach for the analysis of genetic material by means of detecting the hybridization of polynucleotides with electromagnetic waves at terahertz (THz) frequencies is presented. Using an integrated waveguide approach, incorporating resonant THz structures as sample carriers and transducers for the analysis of the DNA molecules, we achieve a sensitivity down to femtomolar levels. The approach is demonstrated with time-domain ultrafast techniques based on femtosecond laser pulses for generating and electro-optically detecting broadband THz signals, although the principle can certainly be transferred to other THz technologies.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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