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Publicly Available Published by De Gruyter December 6, 2012

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

  • Frank Vollmer EMAIL logo and Lan Yang
From the journal Nanophotonics


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.

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

Received: 2012-7-25
Accepted: 2012-10-16
Published Online: 2012-12-06
Published in Print: 2012-12-01

©2012 by Science Wise Publishing & De Gruyter Berlin Boston

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