Abstract

Recently, cheap silicon-on-insulator label-free biosensors have been demonstrated that allow fast and accurate quantitative detection of biologically relevant molecules for applications in medical diagnostics and drug development. However, whereas the sensor chip can be made cheaply, an expensive tunable laser is typically required to accurately monitor spectral shifts in the sensor’s transmission spectrum (wavelength interrogation). To address this issue, we integrated a very sensitive Vernier-cascade sensor with an arrayed waveguide grating spectral filter that divides the sensor’s transmission spectrum in multiple wavelength channels and transmits them to spatially separated output ports, allowing wavelength interrogation with a much cheaper broadband light source. Experiments show that this sensor can monitor refractive index changes of watery solutions in real time with a detection limit (1.6·105RIU) competitive with more expensive interrogation schemes, indicating its applicability in low-cost label-free biosensing. The relaxation on the complexity of the source, moreover, offers the prospect to integrate the source and detectors to further reduce the device cost and to increase its portability.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. A. J. Qavi, A. L. Washburn, J.-Y. Byeon, and R. C. Bailey, Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 394, 121 (2009).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  2. K. De Vos, J. Girones, T. Claes, Y. De Koninck, S. Popelka, E. Schacht, R. Baets, and P. Bienstman, IEEE Photon. J. 1, 225 (2009).
    [CrossRef]
  3. M. Iqbal, M. A. Gleeson, B. Spaugh, F. Tybor, W. G. Gunn, M. Hochberg, T. Baehr-Jones, R. C. Bailey, and L. C. Gunn, IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 16, 654 (2010).
    [CrossRef]
  4. D. X. Xu, M. Vachon, A. Densmore, R. Ma, A. Delage, S. Janz, J. Lapointe, Y. Li, G. Lopinski, D. Zhang, Q. Y. Liu, P. Cheben, and J. H. Schmid, Opt. Lett. 35, 2771 (2010).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. B. Sepulveda, J. Sanchez del Rio, M. Moreno, F. J. Blanco, K. Mayora, C. Dominguez, and L. M. Lechuga, J. Opt. A 8, S561 (2006).
    [CrossRef]
  6. P. S. Petrou, M. Kitsara, E. Makarona, I. Raptis, S. E. Kakabakos, R. Stoffer, and G. Jobst, in Conference of Proceedings of IEEE English Medical Biological Society (2010), p. 298.
  7. L. Jin, M. Li, and J.-J. He, Opt. Lett. 36, 1128 (2011).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. Z. Xia, B. Momeni, M. Askari, M. Chamanzar, S. Yegnanarayanan, A. A. Eftekhar, and A. Adibi, in IEEE Photonics Annual Meeting (2010), pp. 329–330.
    [CrossRef]
  9. T. Claes, W. Bogaerts, and P. Bienstman, Opt. Express 18, 22747 (2010).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. L. Jin, M. Li, and J.-J. He, Opt. Commun. 284, 156 (2011).
    [CrossRef]
  11. W. Bogaerts, S. K. Selvaraja, P. Dumon, J. Brouckaert, K. De Vos, D. Van Thourhout, and R. Baets, IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 16, 33 (2010).
    [CrossRef]
  12. H. Su and X. G. Huang, Sens. Actuators. B 126, 579 (2007).
    [CrossRef]

2011 (2)

L. Jin, M. Li, and J.-J. He, Opt. Commun. 284, 156 (2011).
[CrossRef]

L. Jin, M. Li, and J.-J. He, Opt. Lett. 36, 1128 (2011).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2010 (4)

W. Bogaerts, S. K. Selvaraja, P. Dumon, J. Brouckaert, K. De Vos, D. Van Thourhout, and R. Baets, IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 16, 33 (2010).
[CrossRef]

D. X. Xu, M. Vachon, A. Densmore, R. Ma, A. Delage, S. Janz, J. Lapointe, Y. Li, G. Lopinski, D. Zhang, Q. Y. Liu, P. Cheben, and J. H. Schmid, Opt. Lett. 35, 2771 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

T. Claes, W. Bogaerts, and P. Bienstman, Opt. Express 18, 22747 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

M. Iqbal, M. A. Gleeson, B. Spaugh, F. Tybor, W. G. Gunn, M. Hochberg, T. Baehr-Jones, R. C. Bailey, and L. C. Gunn, IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 16, 654 (2010).
[CrossRef]

2009 (2)

A. J. Qavi, A. L. Washburn, J.-Y. Byeon, and R. C. Bailey, Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 394, 121 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

K. De Vos, J. Girones, T. Claes, Y. De Koninck, S. Popelka, E. Schacht, R. Baets, and P. Bienstman, IEEE Photon. J. 1, 225 (2009).
[CrossRef]

2007 (1)

H. Su and X. G. Huang, Sens. Actuators. B 126, 579 (2007).
[CrossRef]

2006 (1)

B. Sepulveda, J. Sanchez del Rio, M. Moreno, F. J. Blanco, K. Mayora, C. Dominguez, and L. M. Lechuga, J. Opt. A 8, S561 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Adibi, A.

Z. Xia, B. Momeni, M. Askari, M. Chamanzar, S. Yegnanarayanan, A. A. Eftekhar, and A. Adibi, in IEEE Photonics Annual Meeting (2010), pp. 329–330.
[CrossRef]

Askari, M.

Z. Xia, B. Momeni, M. Askari, M. Chamanzar, S. Yegnanarayanan, A. A. Eftekhar, and A. Adibi, in IEEE Photonics Annual Meeting (2010), pp. 329–330.
[CrossRef]

Baehr-Jones, T.

M. Iqbal, M. A. Gleeson, B. Spaugh, F. Tybor, W. G. Gunn, M. Hochberg, T. Baehr-Jones, R. C. Bailey, and L. C. Gunn, IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 16, 654 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Baets, R.

W. Bogaerts, S. K. Selvaraja, P. Dumon, J. Brouckaert, K. De Vos, D. Van Thourhout, and R. Baets, IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 16, 33 (2010).
[CrossRef]

K. De Vos, J. Girones, T. Claes, Y. De Koninck, S. Popelka, E. Schacht, R. Baets, and P. Bienstman, IEEE Photon. J. 1, 225 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Bailey, R. C.

M. Iqbal, M. A. Gleeson, B. Spaugh, F. Tybor, W. G. Gunn, M. Hochberg, T. Baehr-Jones, R. C. Bailey, and L. C. Gunn, IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 16, 654 (2010).
[CrossRef]

A. J. Qavi, A. L. Washburn, J.-Y. Byeon, and R. C. Bailey, Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 394, 121 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Bienstman, P.

T. Claes, W. Bogaerts, and P. Bienstman, Opt. Express 18, 22747 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

K. De Vos, J. Girones, T. Claes, Y. De Koninck, S. Popelka, E. Schacht, R. Baets, and P. Bienstman, IEEE Photon. J. 1, 225 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Blanco, F. J.

B. Sepulveda, J. Sanchez del Rio, M. Moreno, F. J. Blanco, K. Mayora, C. Dominguez, and L. M. Lechuga, J. Opt. A 8, S561 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Bogaerts, W.

T. Claes, W. Bogaerts, and P. Bienstman, Opt. Express 18, 22747 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

W. Bogaerts, S. K. Selvaraja, P. Dumon, J. Brouckaert, K. De Vos, D. Van Thourhout, and R. Baets, IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 16, 33 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Brouckaert, J.

W. Bogaerts, S. K. Selvaraja, P. Dumon, J. Brouckaert, K. De Vos, D. Van Thourhout, and R. Baets, IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 16, 33 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Byeon, J.-Y.

A. J. Qavi, A. L. Washburn, J.-Y. Byeon, and R. C. Bailey, Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 394, 121 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Chamanzar, M.

Z. Xia, B. Momeni, M. Askari, M. Chamanzar, S. Yegnanarayanan, A. A. Eftekhar, and A. Adibi, in IEEE Photonics Annual Meeting (2010), pp. 329–330.
[CrossRef]

Cheben, P.

Claes, T.

T. Claes, W. Bogaerts, and P. Bienstman, Opt. Express 18, 22747 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

K. De Vos, J. Girones, T. Claes, Y. De Koninck, S. Popelka, E. Schacht, R. Baets, and P. Bienstman, IEEE Photon. J. 1, 225 (2009).
[CrossRef]

De Koninck, Y.

K. De Vos, J. Girones, T. Claes, Y. De Koninck, S. Popelka, E. Schacht, R. Baets, and P. Bienstman, IEEE Photon. J. 1, 225 (2009).
[CrossRef]

De Vos, K.

W. Bogaerts, S. K. Selvaraja, P. Dumon, J. Brouckaert, K. De Vos, D. Van Thourhout, and R. Baets, IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 16, 33 (2010).
[CrossRef]

K. De Vos, J. Girones, T. Claes, Y. De Koninck, S. Popelka, E. Schacht, R. Baets, and P. Bienstman, IEEE Photon. J. 1, 225 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Delage, A.

Densmore, A.

Dominguez, C.

B. Sepulveda, J. Sanchez del Rio, M. Moreno, F. J. Blanco, K. Mayora, C. Dominguez, and L. M. Lechuga, J. Opt. A 8, S561 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Dumon, P.

W. Bogaerts, S. K. Selvaraja, P. Dumon, J. Brouckaert, K. De Vos, D. Van Thourhout, and R. Baets, IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 16, 33 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Eftekhar, A. A.

Z. Xia, B. Momeni, M. Askari, M. Chamanzar, S. Yegnanarayanan, A. A. Eftekhar, and A. Adibi, in IEEE Photonics Annual Meeting (2010), pp. 329–330.
[CrossRef]

Girones, J.

K. De Vos, J. Girones, T. Claes, Y. De Koninck, S. Popelka, E. Schacht, R. Baets, and P. Bienstman, IEEE Photon. J. 1, 225 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Gleeson, M. A.

M. Iqbal, M. A. Gleeson, B. Spaugh, F. Tybor, W. G. Gunn, M. Hochberg, T. Baehr-Jones, R. C. Bailey, and L. C. Gunn, IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 16, 654 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Gunn, L. C.

M. Iqbal, M. A. Gleeson, B. Spaugh, F. Tybor, W. G. Gunn, M. Hochberg, T. Baehr-Jones, R. C. Bailey, and L. C. Gunn, IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 16, 654 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Gunn, W. G.

M. Iqbal, M. A. Gleeson, B. Spaugh, F. Tybor, W. G. Gunn, M. Hochberg, T. Baehr-Jones, R. C. Bailey, and L. C. Gunn, IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 16, 654 (2010).
[CrossRef]

He, J.-J.

L. Jin, M. Li, and J.-J. He, Opt. Commun. 284, 156 (2011).
[CrossRef]

L. Jin, M. Li, and J.-J. He, Opt. Lett. 36, 1128 (2011).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Hochberg, M.

M. Iqbal, M. A. Gleeson, B. Spaugh, F. Tybor, W. G. Gunn, M. Hochberg, T. Baehr-Jones, R. C. Bailey, and L. C. Gunn, IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 16, 654 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Huang, X. G.

H. Su and X. G. Huang, Sens. Actuators. B 126, 579 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Iqbal, M.

M. Iqbal, M. A. Gleeson, B. Spaugh, F. Tybor, W. G. Gunn, M. Hochberg, T. Baehr-Jones, R. C. Bailey, and L. C. Gunn, IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 16, 654 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Janz, S.

Jin, L.

L. Jin, M. Li, and J.-J. He, Opt. Lett. 36, 1128 (2011).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

L. Jin, M. Li, and J.-J. He, Opt. Commun. 284, 156 (2011).
[CrossRef]

Jobst, G.

P. S. Petrou, M. Kitsara, E. Makarona, I. Raptis, S. E. Kakabakos, R. Stoffer, and G. Jobst, in Conference of Proceedings of IEEE English Medical Biological Society (2010), p. 298.

Kakabakos, S. E.

P. S. Petrou, M. Kitsara, E. Makarona, I. Raptis, S. E. Kakabakos, R. Stoffer, and G. Jobst, in Conference of Proceedings of IEEE English Medical Biological Society (2010), p. 298.

Kitsara, M.

P. S. Petrou, M. Kitsara, E. Makarona, I. Raptis, S. E. Kakabakos, R. Stoffer, and G. Jobst, in Conference of Proceedings of IEEE English Medical Biological Society (2010), p. 298.

Lapointe, J.

Lechuga, L. M.

B. Sepulveda, J. Sanchez del Rio, M. Moreno, F. J. Blanco, K. Mayora, C. Dominguez, and L. M. Lechuga, J. Opt. A 8, S561 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Li, M.

L. Jin, M. Li, and J.-J. He, Opt. Lett. 36, 1128 (2011).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

L. Jin, M. Li, and J.-J. He, Opt. Commun. 284, 156 (2011).
[CrossRef]

Li, Y.

Liu, Q. Y.

Lopinski, G.

Ma, R.

Makarona, E.

P. S. Petrou, M. Kitsara, E. Makarona, I. Raptis, S. E. Kakabakos, R. Stoffer, and G. Jobst, in Conference of Proceedings of IEEE English Medical Biological Society (2010), p. 298.

Mayora, K.

B. Sepulveda, J. Sanchez del Rio, M. Moreno, F. J. Blanco, K. Mayora, C. Dominguez, and L. M. Lechuga, J. Opt. A 8, S561 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Momeni, B.

Z. Xia, B. Momeni, M. Askari, M. Chamanzar, S. Yegnanarayanan, A. A. Eftekhar, and A. Adibi, in IEEE Photonics Annual Meeting (2010), pp. 329–330.
[CrossRef]

Moreno, M.

B. Sepulveda, J. Sanchez del Rio, M. Moreno, F. J. Blanco, K. Mayora, C. Dominguez, and L. M. Lechuga, J. Opt. A 8, S561 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Petrou, P. S.

P. S. Petrou, M. Kitsara, E. Makarona, I. Raptis, S. E. Kakabakos, R. Stoffer, and G. Jobst, in Conference of Proceedings of IEEE English Medical Biological Society (2010), p. 298.

Popelka, S.

K. De Vos, J. Girones, T. Claes, Y. De Koninck, S. Popelka, E. Schacht, R. Baets, and P. Bienstman, IEEE Photon. J. 1, 225 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Qavi, A. J.

A. J. Qavi, A. L. Washburn, J.-Y. Byeon, and R. C. Bailey, Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 394, 121 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Raptis, I.

P. S. Petrou, M. Kitsara, E. Makarona, I. Raptis, S. E. Kakabakos, R. Stoffer, and G. Jobst, in Conference of Proceedings of IEEE English Medical Biological Society (2010), p. 298.

Sanchez del Rio, J.

B. Sepulveda, J. Sanchez del Rio, M. Moreno, F. J. Blanco, K. Mayora, C. Dominguez, and L. M. Lechuga, J. Opt. A 8, S561 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Schacht, E.

K. De Vos, J. Girones, T. Claes, Y. De Koninck, S. Popelka, E. Schacht, R. Baets, and P. Bienstman, IEEE Photon. J. 1, 225 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Schmid, J. H.

Selvaraja, S. K.

W. Bogaerts, S. K. Selvaraja, P. Dumon, J. Brouckaert, K. De Vos, D. Van Thourhout, and R. Baets, IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 16, 33 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Sepulveda, B.

B. Sepulveda, J. Sanchez del Rio, M. Moreno, F. J. Blanco, K. Mayora, C. Dominguez, and L. M. Lechuga, J. Opt. A 8, S561 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Spaugh, B.

M. Iqbal, M. A. Gleeson, B. Spaugh, F. Tybor, W. G. Gunn, M. Hochberg, T. Baehr-Jones, R. C. Bailey, and L. C. Gunn, IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 16, 654 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Stoffer, R.

P. S. Petrou, M. Kitsara, E. Makarona, I. Raptis, S. E. Kakabakos, R. Stoffer, and G. Jobst, in Conference of Proceedings of IEEE English Medical Biological Society (2010), p. 298.

Su, H.

H. Su and X. G. Huang, Sens. Actuators. B 126, 579 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Tybor, F.

M. Iqbal, M. A. Gleeson, B. Spaugh, F. Tybor, W. G. Gunn, M. Hochberg, T. Baehr-Jones, R. C. Bailey, and L. C. Gunn, IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 16, 654 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Vachon, M.

Van Thourhout, D.

W. Bogaerts, S. K. Selvaraja, P. Dumon, J. Brouckaert, K. De Vos, D. Van Thourhout, and R. Baets, IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 16, 33 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Washburn, A. L.

A. J. Qavi, A. L. Washburn, J.-Y. Byeon, and R. C. Bailey, Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 394, 121 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Xia, Z.

Z. Xia, B. Momeni, M. Askari, M. Chamanzar, S. Yegnanarayanan, A. A. Eftekhar, and A. Adibi, in IEEE Photonics Annual Meeting (2010), pp. 329–330.
[CrossRef]

Xu, D. X.

Yegnanarayanan, S.

Z. Xia, B. Momeni, M. Askari, M. Chamanzar, S. Yegnanarayanan, A. A. Eftekhar, and A. Adibi, in IEEE Photonics Annual Meeting (2010), pp. 329–330.
[CrossRef]

Zhang, D.

Anal. Bioanal. Chem. (1)

A. J. Qavi, A. L. Washburn, J.-Y. Byeon, and R. C. Bailey, Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 394, 121 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. (2)

W. Bogaerts, S. K. Selvaraja, P. Dumon, J. Brouckaert, K. De Vos, D. Van Thourhout, and R. Baets, IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 16, 33 (2010).
[CrossRef]

M. Iqbal, M. A. Gleeson, B. Spaugh, F. Tybor, W. G. Gunn, M. Hochberg, T. Baehr-Jones, R. C. Bailey, and L. C. Gunn, IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 16, 654 (2010).
[CrossRef]

IEEE Photon. J. (1)

K. De Vos, J. Girones, T. Claes, Y. De Koninck, S. Popelka, E. Schacht, R. Baets, and P. Bienstman, IEEE Photon. J. 1, 225 (2009).
[CrossRef]

J. Opt. A (1)

B. Sepulveda, J. Sanchez del Rio, M. Moreno, F. J. Blanco, K. Mayora, C. Dominguez, and L. M. Lechuga, J. Opt. A 8, S561 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Commun. (1)

L. Jin, M. Li, and J.-J. He, Opt. Commun. 284, 156 (2011).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Express (1)

Opt. Lett. (2)

Sens. Actuators. B (1)

H. Su and X. G. Huang, Sens. Actuators. B 126, 579 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Other (2)

P. S. Petrou, M. Kitsara, E. Makarona, I. Raptis, S. E. Kakabakos, R. Stoffer, and G. Jobst, in Conference of Proceedings of IEEE English Medical Biological Society (2010), p. 298.

Z. Xia, B. Momeni, M. Askari, M. Chamanzar, S. Yegnanarayanan, A. A. Eftekhar, and A. Adibi, in IEEE Photonics Annual Meeting (2010), pp. 329–330.
[CrossRef]

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Figures (3)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Transmission spectrum of a Vernier-cascade sensor can be measured with a low-cost broadband light source by dividing it into different wavelength channels with an integrated arrayed waveguide grating (AWG) that distributes them to spatially separated output ports that can be monitored in parallel with a camera. The micrograph of the silicon-on-insulator chip shows the compact folded cavities of the ring resonators constituting the Vernier-cascade that is connected to a dense 16-channel AWG. The chip is covered with a polymer cladding, except for a window to the second resonator to allow its evanescent field to interact with the fluid.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Transmission spectrum of the Vernier-cascade through different channels of the AWG measured with a tunable laser (bottom, a color for each AWG-channel) shows the envelope peak superposed on the sharp constituent peaks. Approximately three constituent peaks are transmitted by each channel, providing enough power averaging per channel to also reveal the shape of the envelope peak when the transmission is measured with a broadband light source (blue dots). A squared Lorentzian function can be satisfactory fitted to the broadband transmission peak (blue line), allowing accurate determination of the peak position.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Device can accurately monitor refractive index changes of watery NaCl solutions in real time while being interrogated with a low-cost broadband light source, making it very applicable in low-cost label-free biosensing. After smoothening the signal with a 1 min window, the standard deviation of the noise was only 17.4 pm . The sensor responded very linearly with 1070 nm / RIU sensitivity (inset).

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