Integrated Collinear Refractive Index Sensor with Ge PIN Photodiodes
, , , , , , und .
ACS Photonics (November 2018)

Refractive index sensing is a highly sensitive and label-free detection method for molecular binding events. Commercial implementations of biosensing concepts based on plasmon resonances typically require significant external instrumentation such as microscopes and spectrometers. Few concepts exist that are based on direct integration of plasmonic nanostructures with optoelectronic devices for on-chip integration. Here, we present a CMOS-compatible refractive index sensor consisting of a Ge heterostructure PIN diode in combination with a plasmonic nanohole array structured directly into the diode Al contact metallization. In our devices, the photocurrent can be used to detect surface refractive index changes under simple top illumination and without the aid of signal amplification circuitry. Our devices exhibit large sensitivities >1000 nm per refractive index unit in bulk refractive index sensing and could serve as prototypes to leverage the cost-effectiveness of the CMOS platform for ultracompact, low-cost biosensors.
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