Despite the tremendous advances in micro- and nanoelectronics and the fast-pacing advances in photonic circuit designs, seamless monolithic integration of electronic and photonic components on single chips still remains elusive. In this work, a radically designed silicon-based chip that monolithically integrates in a 37 mm2 footprint 10 interferometric optical sensors along with their respective optical sources, spectral analyzers, and photodetector arrays is presented. The chip is fabricated with mainstream CMOS-compatible fabrication techniques and employs optical devices operating in the visible/infrared spectrum and waveguides with a critical dimension of 1.0 μm. In addition, it exploits the newly introduced detection principle of broad-band Mach-Zehnder interferometry that surpasses the stringent requirement for external monochromatic sources and inherent limitations of traditional interferometry and introduces alternative designs of on-chip spectral analyzers and mode-filtering components, aspiring thus to become a novel lab-on-a-chip that can address the needs of next-generation analytical systems. Apart from the conceptual design, novel photonic features, fabrication steps, and out-of-the-box system development that circumvents the need for fluidic interfacing and employs only electrical interconnects, the present work tests the potential of the fully spectroscopic chip for analytical applications through real-time monitoring of immunochemical reactions and demonstrates limits of detection for antimouse IgG antibody and CRP of 60 and 8 pM, respectively.
- Broad-band interferometry
- Optical biosensing
- Photonic circuit
- Photonics-microelectronic integration