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IMPACT FACTOR 2014: 5.686
Rank 6 out of 86 in category Optics, 15 out of 143 in Applied Physics, 18 out of 79 in Nanoscience & Nanotechnology and 27 out of 259 in Materials Science, Multidisciplinary in the 2014 Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Report/Science Edition

In co-publication with Science Wise Publishing

Open Access

Review Label-free detection with high-Q microcavities: a review of biosensing mechanisms for integrated devices

1 / Lan Yang2

1Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Laboratory of Nanophotonics and Biosensing, G.Scharowsky Str. 1, 91058 Erlangen, Germany

2Electrical and Systems Engineering Department, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA

Corresponding author Edited by Shaya Fainman, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA

Citation Information: Nanophotonics. Volume 1, Issue 3-4, Pages 267–291, ISSN (Online) 2192-8614, ISSN (Print) 2192-8606, DOI: 10.1515/nanoph-2012-0021, December 2012

Publication History

Published Online:


Optical microcavities that confine light in high-Q resonance promise all of the capabilities required for a successful next-generation microsystem biodetection technology. Label-free detection down to single molecules as well as operation in aqueous environments can be integrated cost-effectively on microchips, together with other photonic components, as well as electronic ones. We provide a comprehensive review of the sensing mechanisms utilized in this emerging field, their physics, engineering and material science aspects, and their application to nanoparticle analysis and biomolecular detection. We survey the most recent developments such as the use of mode splitting for self-referenced measurements, plasmonic nanoantennas for signal enhancements, the use of optical force for nanoparticle manipulation as well as the design of active devices for ultra-sensitive detection. Furthermore, we provide an outlook on the exciting capabilities of functionalized high-Q microcavities in the life sciences.

Keywords: biosensing; integrated photonics; microlasers; optical microcavities; optical trapping; plasmonics; optical resonator; nanoparticle detection

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