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Team-up unveils Si-photonics biosensor ICs

Posted: 30 Jan 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:silicon photonics? biosensor? CMOS manufacturing?

Imec and Genalyte Inc. have uncloaked a set of disposable silicon photonics biosensor chips to be used in Genalyte's diagnostic and molecular detection equipment. According to them, the chips combine Imec's standard silicon photonic waveguide devices with biocompatible modifications jointly developed by the two organizations.

The biosensors chips claim to allow for high levels of multiplexed biosensing due to the high integration level of Si photonics. A biocompatible passivation technology was developed on 200mm waferscale in Imec. The chips were then tested in the field and proven to meet Genalyte's functional requirements with high yields.

Si-photonics biosensor IC

Si wafer with photonics IC allows for high levels of multiplexed biosensing.

The chips contain up to 128 proprietary ring resonator sensors coated by Genalyte with application-specific chemistry to create very sensitive molecular detection capability. On-chip grating couplers are used to couple the infrared light from and to Genalyte's diagnostic equipment.

Imec's silicon photonics platform allows miniaturization of complex photonic functions on a single chip and a dense integration of photonics and electronics. The ability to use standard microelectronic CMOS manufacturing facilities and processes to realize optical functions makes silicon photonics commercially very attractive because of the potential to lower manufacturing costs and increased volume production, noted the research institute. The high quality and reproducibility of the photonic waveguides and devices with features measuring 100-500nm requiring nm-scale accuracy are the keys to high yield, Imec added.

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