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Optofluidic sensor system with Ge PIN photodetector for CMOS-compatible sensing


Vertical optofluidic biosensors based on refractive index sensing promise highest sensitivities at smallest area footprint. Nevertheless, when it comes to large-scale fabrication and application of such sensors, cheap and robust platforms for sample preparation and supply are needed—not to mention the expected ease of use in application. We present an optofluidic sensor system using a cyclic olefin copolymer microfluidic chip as carrier and feeding supply for a complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor compatibly fabricated Ge PIN photodetector. Whereas typically only passive components of a sensor are located within the microfluidic channel, here the active device is directly exposed to the fluid, enabling top-illumination. The capability for detecting different refractive indices was verified by different fluids with subsequent recording of the optical responsivity. All components excel in their capability to be transferred to large-scale fabrication and further integration of microfluidic and sensing systems. The photodetector itself is intended to serve as a platform for further sophisticated collinear sensing approaches.

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This work was supported through funding by the University of Stuttgart and the Ministry of Science and Education of Baden-Wuerttemberg (RiSC). Furthermore, we appreciate the support by the Institute of Electron Devices and Circuits at Ulm University especially from S. Jenisch and S. Strehle.

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Correspondence to L. Augel.

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Augel, L., Berkmann, F., Latta, D. et al. Optofluidic sensor system with Ge PIN photodetector for CMOS-compatible sensing. Microfluid Nanofluid 21, 169 (2017).

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  • CMOS
  • Ge photodiode
  • Large-scale fabrication
  • Collinear sensing
  • Microfluidic
  • Optofluidic