Abstract

We demonstrate a new silicon photonic wire waveguide evanescent field (PWEF) sensor that exploits the strong evanescent field of the transverse magnetic mode of this high-index-contrast, submicrometer-dimension waveguide. High sensitivity is achieved by using a 2mm long double-spiral waveguide structure that fits within a compact circular area of 150μm diameter, facilitating compatibility with commercial spotting apparatus and the fabrication of densely spaced sensor arrays. By incorporating the PWEF sensor element into a balanced waveguide Mach–Zehnder interferometer circuit, a minimum detectable mass of 10fg of streptavidin protein is demonstrated with near temperature-independent response.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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