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Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

| EXPLORING THE INTERFACE OF LIGHT AND BIOMEDICINE

  • Editors: Andrew Dunn and Anthony Durkin
  • Vol. 7, Iss. 10 — Oct. 5, 2012
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Design of ultra-sensitive biosensor applying surface plasmon resonance to a triangular resonator

Geum-Yoon Oh, Tae-Kyeong Lee, Hong-Seung Kim, Doo Gun Kim, and Young-Wan Choi  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 20, Issue 17, pp. 19067-19074 (2012)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.20.019067


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Abstract

We propose an ultra-sensitive integrated photonic sensor structure using an InP-based triangular resonator, in which a surface plasmon resonance (SPR) gold film is applied on a total internal reflection mirror. We have analyzed and optimized the triangular resonator sensor structure with an extremely small SPR mirror sensing area of 3.3 × 0.35 μm2. Due to the large phase shift in the SPR mirror, a significantly enhanced sensitivity of 930 nm/RIU (refractive index unit) and the maximum peak shift of half free spectral range have been obtained at the SPR angle of 24.125° with Au thickness of 33.4 nm for the change of the refractive index Δn = 1x10−3. This value is larger than the previous largest value in micro resonator-type biosensors. Moreover, the proposed triangular resonator sensor can be easily made in a micro structure with optical source integration.

© 2012 OSA

1. Introduction

As shown in Fig. 1, one of the TIR mirrors can be used as a sensing region after applying SPR, which works similarly to an ATR having the drastic phase transition at the resonance angle [20

20. G. Y. Oh, D. G. Kim, and Y. W. Choi, “The characterization of GH shifts of surface plasmon resonance in a waveguide using the FDTD method,” Opt. Express 17(23), 20714–20720 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Since the SPR mirror is embedded in a resonator structure, the phase change of the SPR can be accumulated resulting in a huge peak shift regarding the resonance peak. Therefore, it is believed that this configuration provides good advantages by increasing the sensitivity of the biosensor even with the extremely small sensing area of the SPR mirror and in integrating the optical source such as the SOA for a micro structure sensor. Moreover, these devices can easily be integrated with light sources, detectors, modulators, and other passive components, giving rise to the possibility of micro resonator-type full photonic integrated biosensor structures. These are typically achieved by a deep etching mirror to provide a non-circular configuration in order to reduce propagation and excessive radiation loss. The material itself and fabrication process of the proposed configuration are fully compatible with those of the conventional laser diode.

In this paper, we design a triangular ring resonator with TIR and SPR mirrors to achieve compactness as well as high sensitivity. Here, the optimum gold thickness for the SPR mirror, the resonance angle, and the multimode-interference (MMI) length are calculated. The following sections describe the theoretical analysis of the SPR in the triangular ring resonator. This is followed by optimized results and discussions. Finally conclusions are given.

2. Theoretical analysis

2.1 The resonator model

We can simplify the analysis of the triangular resonator by using a transfer function of the single-ring resonator as shown in Fig. 2
Fig. 2 Triangular resonator schemes used for the theoretical analysis.
. Using this model, the relationship in the directional coupler region can be represented by
[Et1Et2]=[tκκ*t*][Ei1Ei2],
(1)
where ĸ and t are the coupling and the transmission coefficients, respectively. The transfer function for the round trip in the ring is given by
Ei2=αejθEt2,
(2)
Here, the total phase difference per round trip θ=θring+2θTIR+θSPR,where θring is the phase change per round trip, θTIR is the phase shift by the TIR mirror, and θSPR is the phase shift by the SPR mirror. α is the attenuation coefficient given by α=exp(alinear×Latotalmirrorloss) including the optical propagation loss and the scattering loss of the TIR and SPR mirrors. Here, L is the total resonator length. Then, the transmitted intensity can then be expressed as
Pt1=|Et1|2=α2+|t|22α|t|cosθ1+α2|t|22α|t|cosθ.
(3)
Since the Q-factor is directly affected by the optical loss of the ring resonator, steep slopes of the resonance are obtained in the ring resonator with low loss. Therefore, the TIR mirrors with low loss are important to fabricate the triangular resonator with high Q-factor and steep slope.

2.2 The optical properties of the structure

In regards to the design of ultra-sensitive biosensors, we need to make a thorough investigation and analysis of the optical properties of the structure. The critical angle for the water (refractive index: 1.311) interface mirror is 23.89° in the InP-based triangular resonator. For the application of SPR on a mirror facet, the angle needs to be larger than the critical angle of the TIR.

The maximum measureable reflectance change (∆Rmax) of the SPR due to the refractive index variation of 0.0077 on the metal layer is shown in Fig. 3(a)
Fig. 3 (a) Variation of reflectance according to the SPR angle change due to the refractive index increment of 0.0077 on the metal layer, (b) reflectance variation and sensitivity as a function of Au thickness for changing the refractive index of 0.1, (c) full width half maximum of the resonance peak and the measurable sensing range as a function of Au thickness.
. Sensing parameters such as the power variation, the full width half maximum (FWHM), and the maximum measurable refractive index range (∆nlimit) corresponding to ∆Rmax at a fixed resonance angle are shown in Fig. 3(a). Figure 3(b) demonstrates the reflectance variation and the sensitivity as a function of Au thickness in the SPR mirror interface. At the resonance angle, the sensitivity decreases from 20.9 to 20.1 deg/RIU as the Au film thickness increases from 15 to 40 nm. However, the reflectance variation increases up to 0.86 for the 35 nm Au thickness. Figure 3(c) shows the FWHM of the resonance peak and the sensing detection range for the refractive index variation. As shown, both the measurable range of ∆nlimit and the FWHM are decreased according to the increase of the Au thickness.

Figure 4(a)
Fig. 4 (a) SPR characteristics obtained by the theory and the FDTD method, (b) evanescent field intensity as a function of incident angle at 35 nm Au thickness.
shows the incident angle-dependent reflectance change at the SPR mirror with a water interface. Here, the SPR angle of 24.125° is obtained both by the theory and the FDTD plane wave analysis. Both results indicate a perfect agreement indicating the validity of our theoretical approach. We used the effective refractive index of 3.2374 for the mirror block and gold film thickness of 35 nm. The complex permittivity of the gold film is εm = −131.95 + j12.65. Figure 4(b) shows the evanescent field intensity along the y-direction as a function of the incident angle. The maximum evanescent field is shown at the resonance angle of 24.125° as expected. Easy integration of the triangular surface plasmon resonator can be achieved by using a MMI coupler as shown in Fig. 1. In the MMI design, we have chosen an extremely small MMI coupler, which couples the output power by mode interference into the triangular surface plasmon resonator. The MMI length was determined to be 100 μm based on our FDTD simulation result. Approximately 3 dB of the incoming power is coupled into the resonator per pass.

3. Results

Figure 5
Fig. 5 Resonance peak shift of the triangular resonator as a function of the incident angle of the SPR mirror for Δn = 1x10-3.
shows the resonance peak shift of the triangular resonator as a function of the incident angle for the SPR mirror. Here, the refractive index change of the SPR mirror interface is set to be Δn = 1x10−3. The maximum resonance peak shift is shown at the SPR angle of 24.125°.

Figure 6
Fig. 6 FDTD simulation result of the triangular surface plasmon resonator.
shows the simulation results of the triangular surface plasmon resonator by the FDTD method. Here, the FDTD analysis is developed with the full structure of the triangular ring resonator. The total length of the triangular resonator used in the FDTD calculation is 398 μm. The incident angles of the TIR and the SPR mirrors are fixed at 32.94° and 24.125°, respectively. Using the FDTD Gaussian wave method, for a more realistic simulation, the TIR mirror loss of 0.86 dB/facet and the SPR mirror loss of 3.03 dB/facet are obtained.

The Q-factor of 1860 is also obtained in the triangular ring resonator with these mirror structures. In our proposed structure, the whole structure of the triangular resonator is assumed to be deeply etched for easy fabrication. The most important aspect regarding biosensor performance is determined by the wavelength sensitivity per a unit refractive index change and the Q-factor. Here, the obtained mirror loss and the Q-factor results from the FDTD simulation are applied to the theoretical resonator calculation.

Figure 7
Fig. 7 (a) Sensitivity of the triangular resonator as a function of Au thickness, (b) θSPR difference for Δn = 1x10−3 at SPR mirror.
shows the triangular sensor sensitivity and the difference of θSPR for the change of the refractive index Δn = 1x10−3 as a function of Au thickness. θring and θTIR are constants because these values are determined by the ring resonator path and the refractive index on the mirror boundary, respectively. However, θSPR have a drastic phase shift for the change refractive index on the SPR mirror. When the θ difference is 180 degree, the sensitivity is maximized as shown in Fig. 7. In the resonator-type sensor structures, the maximum wavelength shift of the resonance peak would be the half of the free spectral range (FSR). In our proposed sensor, the maximum peak shift of 0.5 FSR and the sensitivity of 930 nm/RIU have been obtained at the SPR angle of 24.125° with Au thickness of 33.4 nm for the change of the refractive index Δn = 1x10−3.

4. Conclusions

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MEST) (No. 2011-0018048), (No. 2011-0012201), (No. 2012R1A1A2004894), and (No. 2012-011488).

References and links

1.

A. Suzuki, J. Kondoh, Y. Matsui, S. Shiokawa, and K. Suzuki, “Development of novel optical waveguide surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensor with dual light emitting diodes,” Sens. Actuators B 106(1), 383–387 (2005). [CrossRef]

2.

D. Pissuwan, S. M. Valenzuela, and M. B. Cortie, “Prospects for gold nanorod particles in diagnostic and therapeutic applications,” Biotechnol. Genet. Eng. Rev. 25(1), 93–112 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

s3K. Zinoviev, C. Dominguez, J. A. Plaza, V. J. C. Busto, and L. M. Lechuga, “A novel optical waveguide microcantilever sensor for the detection of nanomechanical forces,” J. Lightwave Technol. 24(5), 2132–2138 (2006). [CrossRef]

4.

R. W. Boyd and J. E. Heebner, “Sensitive disk resonator photonic biosensor,” Appl. Opt. 40(31), 5742–5747 (2001). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

5.

D. Dai and S. He, “Highly sensitive sensor based on an ultra-high-Q Mach-Zehnder interferometer-coupled microring,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 26(3), 511–516 (2009). [CrossRef]

6.

F. Vollmer and S. Arnold, “Whispering-gallery-mode biosensing: label-free detection down to single molecules,” Nat. Methods 5(7), 591–596 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

7.

E. Kretschmann and H. Raether, “Radiative decay of non-radiative surface plasmons excited by light,” Z. Naturforsch. A 23, 2135–2136 (1968).

8.

A. Otto, “Excitation of nonradiative surface plasma waves in silver by the method of frustrated total reflection,” Z. Phys. A: Hadrons Nucl. 216, 398–410 (1968).

9.

A. Yalcin, K. C. Popat, J. C. Aldridge, T. A. Desai, J. Hryniewicz, N. Chbouki, B. E. Little, O. King, V. Van, and S. Chu, “Optical sensing of biomolecules using microring resonators,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 12(1), 148–155 (2006). [CrossRef]

10.

S. I. Shopova, R. Rajmangal, S. Holler, and S. Arnold, “Plasmonic enhancement of a whispering-gallery-mode biosensor for single nanoparticle detection,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 98(24), 243104 (2011). [CrossRef]

11.

V. R. Dantham, S. Holler, V. Kolchenko, Z. Wan, and S. Arnold, “Taking whispering gallery-mode single virus detection and sizing to the limit,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 101(4), 043704 (2012). [CrossRef]

12.

N. M. Hanumegowda, C. J. Stica, B. C. Patel, I. White, and X. Fan, “Refractometric sensors based on microsphere resonators,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 87(20), 201107 (2005). [CrossRef]

13.

I. M. White, H. Zhu, J. D. Suter, H. Oveys, and X. Fan, “Liquid core optical ring resonator label-free biosensor array for lab-on-a-chip development,” Proc. SPIE 6380, 63800F, 63800F-7 (2006). [CrossRef]

14.

V. Zamora, A. Díez, M. V. Andrés, and B. Gimeno, “Refractometric sensor based on whispering-gallery modes of thin capillarie,” Opt. Express 15(19), 12011–12016 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

15.

T. Ling and L. J. Guo, “A unique resonance mode observed in a prism-coupled micro-tube resonator sensor with superior index sensitivity,” Opt. Express 15(25), 17424–17432 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

16.

M. Sumetsky, R. S. Windeler, Y. Dulashko, and X. Fan, “Optical liquid ring resonator sensor,” Opt. Express 15(22), 14376–14381 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

17.

D. G. Kim, J. H. Shin, C. Ozturk, J. C. Yi, Y. Chung, and N. Dagli, “Total internal reflection mirror-based InGaAsP ring resonators integrated with optical amplifiers,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 17(9), 1899–1901 (2005). [CrossRef]

18.

D. G. Kim, G. Y. Oh, W. K. Choi, H. J. Kim, S. H. Kim, H. C. Ki, S. T. Kim, H. J. Ko, T. U. Kim, M. H. Yang, H. J. Kim, J. C. Yi, Y. Chung, N. Dagli, and Y. W. Choi, “Extremely small multimode-interference coupled triangular resonator with sharp angle of incidence,” Opt. Express 16(25), 21053–21058 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

19.

G. Y. Oh, D. G. Kim, and Y. W. Choi, “Extremely small plasmonic array sensor using wideband sources,” Electron. Lett. 47(10), 611–612 (2011). [CrossRef]

20.

G. Y. Oh, D. G. Kim, and Y. W. Choi, “The characterization of GH shifts of surface plasmon resonance in a waveguide using the FDTD method,” Opt. Express 17(23), 20714–20720 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

OCIS Codes
(130.3120) Integrated optics : Integrated optics devices
(230.5750) Optical devices : Resonators
(240.6680) Optics at surfaces : Surface plasmons

ToC Category:
Sensors

History
Original Manuscript: July 3, 2012
Revised Manuscript: July 30, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: July 30, 2012
Published: August 3, 2012

Virtual Issues
Vol. 7, Iss. 10 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Citation
Geum-Yoon Oh, Tae-Kyeong Lee, Hong-Seung Kim, Doo Gun Kim, and Young-Wan Choi, "Design of ultra-sensitive biosensor applying surface plasmon resonance to a triangular resonator," Opt. Express 20, 19067-19074 (2012)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/vjbo/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-20-17-19067


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References

  1. A. Suzuki, J. Kondoh, Y. Matsui, S. Shiokawa, and K. Suzuki, “Development of novel optical waveguide surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensor with dual light emitting diodes,” Sens. Actuators B106(1), 383–387 (2005). [CrossRef]
  2. D. Pissuwan, S. M. Valenzuela, and M. B. Cortie, “Prospects for gold nanorod particles in diagnostic and therapeutic applications,” Biotechnol. Genet. Eng. Rev.25(1), 93–112 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. s3K. Zinoviev, C. Dominguez, J. A. Plaza, V. J. C. Busto, and L. M. Lechuga, “A novel optical waveguide microcantilever sensor for the detection of nanomechanical forces,” J. Lightwave Technol.24(5), 2132–2138 (2006). [CrossRef]
  4. R. W. Boyd and J. E. Heebner, “Sensitive disk resonator photonic biosensor,” Appl. Opt.40(31), 5742–5747 (2001). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. D. Dai and S. He, “Highly sensitive sensor based on an ultra-high-Q Mach-Zehnder interferometer-coupled microring,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B26(3), 511–516 (2009). [CrossRef]
  6. F. Vollmer and S. Arnold, “Whispering-gallery-mode biosensing: label-free detection down to single molecules,” Nat. Methods5(7), 591–596 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. E. Kretschmann and H. Raether, “Radiative decay of non-radiative surface plasmons excited by light,” Z. Naturforsch. A23, 2135–2136 (1968).
  8. A. Otto, “Excitation of nonradiative surface plasma waves in silver by the method of frustrated total reflection,” Z. Phys. A: Hadrons Nucl.216, 398–410 (1968).
  9. A. Yalcin, K. C. Popat, J. C. Aldridge, T. A. Desai, J. Hryniewicz, N. Chbouki, B. E. Little, O. King, V. Van, and S. Chu, “Optical sensing of biomolecules using microring resonators,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron.12(1), 148–155 (2006). [CrossRef]
  10. S. I. Shopova, R. Rajmangal, S. Holler, and S. Arnold, “Plasmonic enhancement of a whispering-gallery-mode biosensor for single nanoparticle detection,” Appl. Phys. Lett.98(24), 243104 (2011). [CrossRef]
  11. V. R. Dantham, S. Holler, V. Kolchenko, Z. Wan, and S. Arnold, “Taking whispering gallery-mode single virus detection and sizing to the limit,” Appl. Phys. Lett.101(4), 043704 (2012). [CrossRef]
  12. N. M. Hanumegowda, C. J. Stica, B. C. Patel, I. White, and X. Fan, “Refractometric sensors based on microsphere resonators,” Appl. Phys. Lett.87(20), 201107 (2005). [CrossRef]
  13. I. M. White, H. Zhu, J. D. Suter, H. Oveys, and X. Fan, “Liquid core optical ring resonator label-free biosensor array for lab-on-a-chip development,” Proc. SPIE6380, 63800F, 63800F-7 (2006). [CrossRef]
  14. V. Zamora, A. Díez, M. V. Andrés, and B. Gimeno, “Refractometric sensor based on whispering-gallery modes of thin capillarie,” Opt. Express15(19), 12011–12016 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  15. T. Ling and L. J. Guo, “A unique resonance mode observed in a prism-coupled micro-tube resonator sensor with superior index sensitivity,” Opt. Express15(25), 17424–17432 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  16. M. Sumetsky, R. S. Windeler, Y. Dulashko, and X. Fan, “Optical liquid ring resonator sensor,” Opt. Express15(22), 14376–14381 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  17. D. G. Kim, J. H. Shin, C. Ozturk, J. C. Yi, Y. Chung, and N. Dagli, “Total internal reflection mirror-based InGaAsP ring resonators integrated with optical amplifiers,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett.17(9), 1899–1901 (2005). [CrossRef]
  18. D. G. Kim, G. Y. Oh, W. K. Choi, H. J. Kim, S. H. Kim, H. C. Ki, S. T. Kim, H. J. Ko, T. U. Kim, M. H. Yang, H. J. Kim, J. C. Yi, Y. Chung, N. Dagli, and Y. W. Choi, “Extremely small multimode-interference coupled triangular resonator with sharp angle of incidence,” Opt. Express16(25), 21053–21058 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  19. G. Y. Oh, D. G. Kim, and Y. W. Choi, “Extremely small plasmonic array sensor using wideband sources,” Electron. Lett.47(10), 611–612 (2011). [CrossRef]
  20. G. Y. Oh, D. G. Kim, and Y. W. Choi, “The characterization of GH shifts of surface plasmon resonance in a waveguide using the FDTD method,” Opt. Express17(23), 20714–20720 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

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