Photonic Sensors

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 131–139 | Cite as

Polymer integrated waveguide optical biosensor by using spectral splitting effect

  • Xiaonan Han
  • Xiuyou Han
  • Yuchen Shao
  • Zhenlin Wu
  • Yuxin Liang
  • Jie Teng
  • Shuhui Bo
  • Geert Morthier
  • Mingshan Zhao
Open Access


The polymer waveguide optical biosensor based on the Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) by using spectral splitting effect is investigated. The MZI based biosensor has two unequal width sensing arms. With the different mode dispersion responses of the two-arm waveguides to the cladding refractive index change, the spectral splitting effect of the output interference spectrum is obtained, inducing a very high sensitivity. The influence of the different mode dispersions between the two-arm waveguides on the spectral splitting characteristic is analyzed. By choosing different lengths of the two unequal width sensing arms, the initial dip wavelength of the interference spectrum and the spectral splitting range can be controlled flexibly. The polymer waveguide optical biosensor is designed, and its sensing property is analyzed. The results show that the sensitivity of the polymer waveguide optical biosensor by using spectral splitting effect is as high as 104 nm/RIU, with an improvement of 2–3 orders of magnitude compared with the slot waveguide based microring biosensor.


Optical biosensor integrated waveguide spectral splitting sensitivity 



This work was supported in part by the International Science & Technology Cooperation Program of China (No. 2014DFG32590), National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 61307040), National R&D Program (No. 2012AA040406), National Pre-Research Foundation of China (No. 614045001035), Natural Science Foundation of Liaoning Province (No. 2014020002), and Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (DUT15ZD231 and DUT2015TD47).


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© The Author(s) 2017

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaonan Han
    • 1
  • Xiuyou Han
    • 1
  • Yuchen Shao
    • 1
  • Zhenlin Wu
    • 1
  • Yuxin Liang
    • 1
    • 4
  • Jie Teng
    • 2
  • Shuhui Bo
    • 3
  • Geert Morthier
    • 4
  • Mingshan Zhao
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Physics and Optoelectronic EngineeringDalian University of TechnologyDalianChina
  2. 2.No. 38 Research InstituteChina Electronics Technology Group CorporationHefeiChina
  3. 3.Technical Institute of Physics and ChemistryChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.Photonics Research Group, Department of Information TechnologyGhent University-IMECGhentBelgium

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