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Spectrally engineered photonic molecules as optical sensors with enhanced sensitivity: a proposal and numerical analysis

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Abstract

We report a theoretical study of clusters of evanescently coupled 2D whispering-gallery mode optical microcavities (termed “photonic molecules”) as chemosensing and biosensing platforms. Photonic molecules (PMs) supporting modes with narrow linewidths, wide mode spacing, and greatly enhanced sensitivity to the changes in the dielectric constant of their environment and to the presence of individual subwavelength-sized nanoparticles in the PM evanescent-field region are numerically designed. This type of optical biosensor can be fabricated in a variety of material platforms and integrated on a single chip that makes it a promising candidate for a small and robust laboratory-on-a-chip device. Possible applications of the developed methodology and the designed PM structures to near-field microscopy, single nanoemitter microcavity lasing, and cavity-controlled single-molecule fluorescence enhancement are also discussed.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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