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Opt Express. 2012 Jan 30;20(3):2640-8. doi: 10.1364/OE.20.002640.

Thermal independent silicon-nitride slot waveguide biosensor with high sensitivity.

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  • 1Institute of Microelectronics, A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research), 11 Science Park Road, Singapore Science Park II, 117685, Singapore.


As the sensitivity and detection limit of photonic refractive index (RI) biosensor increases, the temperature dependence becomes a major challenge. In this paper, we present a Mach-Zehnder Interferometer (MZI) biosensor based on silicon nitride slot waveguides. The biosensor is designed for minimal temperature dependence without compromising the performance in terms of sensitivity and detection limit. With air cladding, the measured surface sensitivity and detection limit of MZI biosensor reach 7.16 nm/(ng mm(-2)) and 1.30 (pg mm(-2)), while achieving a low temperature dependence is 5.0 pm/° C. With water cladding, the measured bulk sensitivity and detection limit reach 1730(2π)/RIU and 1.29 × 10(-5) RIU respectively. By utilizing Vernier effect through cascaded MZI structures, the measured sensitivity enhancement factor is 8.38, which results in a surface detection limit of 0.155 (pg mm(-2)).

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