We investigated the feasibility of using a silica microsphere sensor for detection of small molecules. Using the silica molecules (60 Da) at the sphere's surface as a model system, we measured the spectral shifts in the whispering-gallery modes (WGMs) when the sphere size was decreased by a hydrofluoric acid (HF) solution. The results demonstrate that our sensor is capable of detecting a 4 pm (or 0.01 layer of silica) decrease in sphere radius, corresponding to a change of 0.4 fmol silica molecule. These results suggest that small molecules can be detected in trace quantities at the surface of an optical microsphere sensor.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
Vol. 1, Iss. 1 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics
Ian M. White, Niranjan M. Hanumegowda, and Xudong Fan, "Subfemtomole detection of small molecules with microsphere sensors," Opt. Lett. 30, 3189-3191 (2005)