Improving robustness and disposability of integrated Young interferometer sensors for portable diagnostics: Dissertation

    Research output: ThesisDissertationCollection of Articles


    Integrated Young interferometers (YIs) are label-free photonic sensors having many desirable features for point-of-need diagnostics. They have been shown to be sensitive, they are capable of multi-analyte detection, and they can be implemented using low-cost polymeric materials. However, there are also some disadvantages from the low-cost portable diagnostics point of view: sensor readout is easily disrupted by mechanical disturbances, and the realization of disposable photonic sensor chips for cost-critical applications using established batch-based processes is difficult. The objective of the work discussed in this thesis was to improve the applicability of integrated Young interferometer sensors for low-cost portable diagnostics by means of two themes: improving the robustness of the sensing method against mechanical disturbances and improving the disposability of the sensor chips. To improve the robustness, a drift compensation method was derived. The method was shown to be able to extract sample-induced phase change responses from up to 161 times larger phase changes measured with a deliberately mechanically disturbed setup. Disposability was improved by demonstrating that YI sensor chips can be implemented using polymeric waveguides manufactured by ultra-high volume roll-to-roll (R2R) methods. Three sensor embodiments were designed: one for ambient refractive index sensing, one for sensing of small molecules, and one for multi-analyte detection of biomolecules. In the experiments, ambient refractive index changes were detected at a level of 10-6 refractive index units. Analytespecific sensing of small molecules was demonstrated using a sensor chip functionalized with a molecularly imprinted polymer. For multi-analyte detection of biomolecules, sensor chips were functionalized with inkjet-printed antibody layers. Improving the robustness of the sensing method and proving the concept of disposable photonic sensor chips opens up new possibilities to implement lowcost portable sensor systems.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor Degree
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Oulu
    • Myllylä, Risto, Supervisor, External person
    • Hiltunen, Jussi, Supervisor
    Award date18 Nov 2016
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    Print ISBNs978-951-38-8462-8
    Electronic ISBNs978-951-38-8461-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


    • compensation
    • diagnostics
    • disposable sensor
    • interferometry
    • waveguide
    • Young interferometer


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