Imec and Genalyte report disposable silicon photonics biosensor chips

by K C Krishnadas, TechOnline India - January 25, 2012

The chips combine imec’s standard silicon photonic waveguide devices with bio-compatible modifications jointly developed by imec and Genalyte.

Nanoelectronics research institute imec and diagnostic and life sciences molecular testing solutions company Genalyte have successfully developed and produced a set of disposable silicon photonics biosensor chips to be used in Genalyte diagnostic and molecular detection equipment.

The chips combine imec’s standard silicon photonic waveguide devices with bio-compatible modifications jointly developed by imec and Genalyte. These chips allow for high levels of multiplexed biosensing due to the high integration level of Si photonics. 

The newly developed Si-photonics biosensor chips were realized at imec, as part of imec’s silicon photonics CMORE service. A bio-compatible passivation technology was developed on 200mm waferscale, the chips were tested in the field, and proven to meet Genalyte’s functional requirements with high yields.

Silicon wafer with photonics biosensorchips

 

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.

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