Liu Liu, Mingliang Jin, Yaocheng Shi, Jiao Lin, Yuan Zhang, Li Jiang, Guofu Zhou, Sailing He
November 6, 2015
Abstract: Label-free optical biosensing technologies have superior abilities of quantitative analysis, unmodified targets, and ultrasmall sample volume, compared to conventional fluorescence-label-based sensing techniques, in detecting various biomolecules. In this review article, we introduce our recent results in the field of evanescent-wavebased refractive index sensing and surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)-based sensing, both of which are promising platforms for label-free optical biosensors. First, silicon-on-insulator (SOI) nanowire waveguide and metallic surface plasmon resonance (SPR)-based refractive index sensing are discussed. In order to improve the detection limit, phase interrogation techniques are introduced to these types of sensors based on prism-coupled SPR and SOI microring resonators. A detection limit in the order of 10−6 refractive index unit is achieved. Detection of 16.7 pM anti-IgG is also demonstrated based on the SPR devices. Second, SERS substrates based on various nanometallic structures are discussed. Metallic nanowire arrays and inverted nanopyramids and grooves with a thin metal surface are fabricated based on anisotropic wetetching of silicon substrates. Both structures have demonstrated a Raman signal enhancement on the order of 107. In order to improve the extraction efficiency of the Raman signal at a high wave number, a nano-bowtie array substrate is fabricated, which exhibits double resonances at both the excitation wavelength and the desired Raman scattering wavelength. Experimental results have shown that this double-resonance structure can further enhance the received Raman signal, as compared to conventional SERS substrates with only one resonance at the excitation wavelength.