Date

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Electrical Engineering

First Adviser

Bartoli, Filbert

Other advisers/committee members

Bartoli, Filbert; Ding, Yujie; Cheng, Xuanhong; Ou-Yang, Daniel

Abstract

Optical biosensors that utilize surface plasmon resonance (SPR) technique to analyze the biomolecular interactions have been extensively explored in the last two decades and have become the gold standard for label-free biosensing. These powerful sensing tools allow fast, highly-sensitive monitoring of the interaction between biomolecules in real time, without the need for laborious fluorescent labeling, and have found widely ranging applications from biomedical diagnostics and drug discovery, to environmental sensing and food safety monitoring. However, the prism-coupling SPR geometry is complex and bulky, and has severely limited the integration of this technique into low-cost portable biomedical devices for point-of-care diagnostics and personal healthcare applications. Also, the complex prism-coupling scheme prevents the use of high numerical aperture (NA) optics to increase the spatial resolution for multi-channel, high-throughput detection in SPR imaging mode. This dissertation is focused on the design and fabrication of a promising new class of nanopatterned interferometric SPR sensors that integrate the strengths of miniaturized nanoplasmonic architectures with sensitive optical interferometry techniques to achieve bold advances in SPR biosensing. The nanosensor chips developed provide superior sensing performance comparable to conventional SPR systems, but employing a far simpler collinear optical transmission geometry, which largely facilitates system integration, miniaturization, and low-cost production. Moreover, the fabricated nanostructure-based SPR sensors feature a very small sensor footprint, allowing massive multiplexing on a chip for high-throughput detection. The successful transformation of SPR technique from bulky prism-coupling setup into this low-cost compact plasmonic platform would have a far-reaching impact on point-of-care diagnostic tools and also lead to advances in high-throughput sensing applications in proteomics, immunology, drug discovery, and fundamental cell biology research.

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