Optimizing the limit of detection of waveguide-based interferometric biosensor devices

Jonas Leuermann, Adrián Fernández-Gavela, Antonia Torres-Cubillo, Sergio Postigo, Alejandro Sánchez-Postigo, Laura M. Lechuga, Robert Halir, Íñigo Molina-Fernández

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Waveguide-based photonic sensors provide a unique combination of high sensitivity, compact size and label-free, multiplexed operation. Interferometric configurations furthermore enable a simple, fixed-wavelength read-out making them particularly suitable for low-cost diagnostic and monitoring devices. Their limit of detection, i.e., the lowest analyte concentration that can be reliably observed, mainly depends on the sensors response to small refractive index changes, and the noise in the read-out system. While enhancements in the sensors response have been extensively studied, noise optimization has received much less attention. Here we show that order-of-magnitude enhancements in the limit of detection can be achieved through systematic noise reduction, and demonstrate a limit of detection of ~10-8 RIU with a silicon nitride sensor operating at telecom wavelengths.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number3671
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019


    • Biosensors
    • Coherent detection
    • Interferometer
    • Limit of detection
    • Silicon photonics


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