Abstract

We describe a photonic device based on a high-finesse, whispering-gallery-mode disk resonator that can be used for the detection of biological pathogens. This device operates by means of monitoring the change in transfer characteristics of the disk resonator when biological materials fall onto its active area. High sensitivity is achieved because the light wave interacts many times with each pathogen as a consequence of the resonant recirculation of light within the disk structure. Specificity of the detected substance can be achieved when a layer of antibodies or other binding material is deposited onto the active area of the resonator. Formulas are presented that allow the sensitivity of the device to be quantified and that show that, under optimum conditions, as few as 100 molecules can be detected.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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