A Compact Tunable VCSEL and a Built-in Wavelength Meter for a Portable Optical Resonant Reflection Biosensor Reader

  • Received : 2010.05.13
  • Accepted : 2010.09.07
  • Published : 2010.12.25


This study reports a portable and precision photonic biosensor reader that can measure the concentration of a particular antigen using an optical resonant reflection biosensor (ORRB). To create a compact biosensor reader, a compact tunable vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) and a compact built-in wavelength meter were manufactured. The wavelength stability and accuracy of the compact built-in wavelength meter were measured to be less than 0.02 nm and 0.06 nm, respectively. The tunable VCSEL emission wavelength was measured with the compact built-in wavelength meter, it has a fast sweep time (~ 10 seconds) and a wide tuning range (> 4 nm) that are sufficient for biosensor applications based on ORRB. The reflection spectrum of a plastic based ORRB chip was measured by the fabricated portable photonic biosensor reader using the VCSEL and wavelength meter. Although the reader is the size of a palmtop device, it could make a precise measurement of the peak wavelength on equal terms with a conventional bulky optical spectrometer.


  1. X. Fan, I. M. White, S. I. Shopova, H. Zhu, J. D. Suter, and Y. Sun, “Sensitive optical biosensors for unlabeled targets: a review,” Analytica Chimica Acta 620, 8-26 (2008).
  2. S. M. Borisov and O. S. Wolfbeis, “Optical biosensors,” Chem. Rev. 108, 423-461 (2008).
  3. Y. Fang, A. M. Ferrie, N. H. Fontaine, J. Mauro, and J. Balakrishnan, “Resonant waveguide grating biosensor for living cell sensing,” Biophysical Journal 91, 1925-1940 (2006).
  4. R. W. Boyd and J. E. Heebner, “Sensitive disk resonator photonic biosensor,” Appl. Opt. 40, 5742-5747 (2001).
  5. X. D. Hoa, A. G. Kirk, and M. Tabrizian, “Towards integrated and sensitive surface plasmon resonance biosensors: a review of recent progress,” Biosensors and Bioelectronics 23, 151-160 (2007).
  6. D. Kumar, H. Shao, and K. L. Lear, “Vertical cavity laser and passive Fabry Perot interferometer based microfluidic biosensors,” in Proc. Laser Applications to Chemical, Security and Environmental Analysis, Technical Digest (Incline Village, Nevada, USA, Feb. 2006), paper TuD3.
  7. S. S. Wang and R. Magnusson, “Theory and applications of guided-mode resonance filter,” Appl. Opt. 32, 2606-2613 (1993).
  8. J. Hong, K. H. Kim, J.-H. Shin, C. Huh, and G. Y. Sung, “Prediction of the limit of detection of an optical resonant reflection biosensor,” Opt. Express 15, 8972-8978 (2007).
  9. A. S. P. Chang, K. J. Morton, H. Tan, P. F. Murphy, W. Wu, and S. Y. Chou, “Tunable liquid crystal-resonant grating filter fabricated by nanoimprint lithography,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 19, 1457-1459 (2007).
  10. K. H. Kim, J. Hong, H. S. Ko, B. K. Kim, C. Huh, and G. Y. Sung, “Fabrication of a nanosize pattern embedded plastic chip via an injection molding method for application to an optical biosensor,” International Polymer Processing, to be published (2010).
  11. O. K. Kwon, E. D. Sim, K. H. Kim, J. H. Kim, H. G. Yun, O. K. Kwon, and K. R. Oh, “Widely tunable grating cavity lasers,” ETRI Journal 28, 545-554 (2006).
  12. M.-S. Jeon, U.-S. Jung, J.-W. Song, J.-H. Kim, J.-H. Oh, J.-S. Eom, C.-S. Kim, and Y.-H. Park, “Frequency swept laser at 1300 nm using a wavelength scanning filter based on a rotating slit disk,” J. Opt. Soc. Korea 13, 330-334 (2009).
  13. M.-K. Oh, Y. Lee, S.-C. Choi, D.-K. Ko, and J. Lee, “Detection of methane and ethane by continuous-wave cavity ring-down spectroscopy near $1.67 {\mu}m$,” J. Opt. Soc. Korea 12, 1-6 (2008).
  14. S. S. Wang, R. Magnusson, J. S. Bagby, and M. G. Moharam, “Guided-mode resonances in planar dielectriclayer diffraction gratings,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 7, 1470-1474 (1990).
  15. C. F. R. Mateus, M. C. Y. Huang, C. J. Chang-Hasnain, J. E. Foley, R. Beatty, P. Li, and B. T. Cunningham, “Ultrasensitive immunoassay using VCSEL detection system,” Electron. Lett. 40, 649-651 (2004).
  16. W.-J. Kim, B. K. Kim, A. Kim, C. Huh, C. S. Ah, K. H. Kim, J. Hong, S. H. Park, S. Song, J. Song, and G. Y. Sung, “Response to cardiac markers in human serum analyzed by guided-mode resonance biosensor,” Anal. Chem., to be published.
  17. Q. Wang, G. Farrell, and T. Freir, “Study of transmission response of edge filters employed in wavelength measurements,” Appl. Opt. 44, 7789-7792 (2005).
  18. S.-S. Yang, J.-K. Son, Y.-K. Hong, Y.-H. Song, H.-J. Jang, S.-J. Bae, Y.-H. Lee, G.-M. Yang, H. S. Ko, and G. Y. Sung, “Wavelength tuning of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers by an internal device heater,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 20, 1679-1681 (2008).
  19. E. Müller, C. Rück, T. Born, E. U. Wagemann, and E. Leckel, “Fast and accurate determination of a tunable laser wavelength and its application to DWDM components,” in Proc. Optical Fiber Communications Conference, OSA Technical Digest Series (Baltimore, MD, USA, 2000), paper WB2.
  20. T. E. Dimmick and J. Weidner, “Simple, inexpensive wavemeter implemented with a fused fiber coupler,” Appl. Opt. 36, 1898-1901 (1997).
  21. M. C. Y. Huang, C. F. R. Mateus, J. E. Foley, R. Beatty, B. T. Cunningham, and C. J. Chang-Hasnain, “VCSEL optoelectronic biosensor for detection of infectious diseases,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 20, 443-445 (2008).