Infoscience

Journal article

Sub-wavelength nanofluidics in photonic crystal sensors

We introduce a novel sensor scheme combining nano-photonics and nano-fluidics on a single platform through the use of free-standing photonic crystals. By harnessing nano-scale openings, we theoretically and experimentally demonstrate that both fluidics and light can be manipulated at sub-wavelength scales. Compared to the conventional fluidic channels, we actively steer the convective flow through the nanohole openings for effective delivery of the analytes to the sensor surface. We apply our method to detect refractive index changes in aqueous solutions. Bulk measurements indicate that active delivery of the convective flow results in better sensitivities. The sensitivity of the sensor reaches 510 nm/RIU for resonance located around 850 nm with a line-width of similar to 10 nm in solution. Experimental results are matched very well with numerical simulations. We also show that cross-polarization measurements can be employed to further improve the detection limit by increasing the signal-to-noise ratio. (C) 2009 Optical Society of America

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