Sensitive and Robust Millimeter Wave/Terahertz Photonic Crystal Chip for Biosensing Applications

In recent years terahertz (THz) technology has attracted great interest in biosensing applications. Due to the interaction between analyte and electromagnetic (EM) field, a THz resonator is sensitive to changes in the refractive index of the analyte and can be used as a thin-film sensor for rapid pathogen diagnosis. To achieve high sensitivity and reliability, the sensor should have a high Q factor, a high field concentration at the site of the analyte, and the ability to compensate for temperature effects. However, conventional metamaterial methods have a low Q factor, which may lead to ambiguous detection and no attention has been paid to address the temperature effects. Here, we present a photonic crystal (PhC) based chip consisting of a reference channel and a sensing channel with two identical PhC slot resonators. The resonance difference between the resonators is temperature invariant and can be used for analyte detection. The dual-channel PhC chip has a Q factor of 5063 and a figure of merit of 3.1 /RIU/ μm (RIU is refractive index unit), which are higher than that of metamaterial sensors. The chip is designed and simulated for the W band by 3D field simulations and is verified by measurements. Our results suggest that THz PhC resonators can provide high sensitivity and high resistance to environmental effects. We anticipate our work to be a starting point for future biosensing applications.


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