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Sensors (Basel). 2013 Apr 9;13(4):4694-713. doi: 10.3390/s130404694.

Photonic crystal sensors based on porous silicon.

Author information

1
Department of New Materials and Biosystems, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Heisenbergstr. 3, Stuttgart 70569, Germany. Pacholski@is.mpg.de

Abstract

Porous silicon has been established as an excellent sensing platform for the optical detection of hazardous chemicals and biomolecular interactions such as DNA hybridization, antigen/antibody binding, and enzymatic reactions. Its porous nature provides a high surface area within a small volume, which can be easily controlled by changing the pore sizes. As the porosity and consequently the refractive index of an etched porous silicon layer depends on the electrochemial etching conditions photonic crystals composed of multilayered porous silicon films with well-resolved and narrow optical reflectivity features can easily be obtained. The prominent optical response of the photonic crystal decreases the detection limit and therefore increases the sensitivity of porous silicon sensors in comparison to sensors utilizing Fabry-Pérot based optical transduction. Development of porous silicon photonic crystal sensors which allow for the detection of analytes by the naked eye using a simple color change or the fabrication of stacked porous silicon photonic crystals showing two distinct optical features which can be utilized for the discrimination of analytes emphasize its high application potential.

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