Porous silicon optical microcavity biosensor on silicon-on-insulator wafer for sensitive DNA detection

Silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafer is one of the most appealing platforms for optical integrated circuit with the potential to realize high performance Ultra Large Scale Integration (ULSI) and device miniaturization. In this work, based on simulations to obtain appropriate optical properties of a porous silicon microcavity (PSM), we successfully fabricated a highly efficient PSM on SOI wafer by electrochemical etching for DNA detection at optical wavelength 1555.0 nm. The narrow resonance peak with a full width at half maximum about 26.0 nm in the reflectance spectrum gives a high Q factor which causes high sensitivity for sensing performance. The sensitivity of this sensor is investigated through 19-base pair DNA hybridization in the PSM by surface modification using a standard cross link chemistry method. The red shift of the reflectance spectra shows a good linear relationship with complementary DNA concentration, ranging from 0.625 to 12.500 μM, and the detection limit is 43.9 nM. This optical PSM on SOI is highly sensitive, fast responsive, easy to fabricate and low-costly, that will broadly benefit to develop a new optical label-free biosensor on SOI wafer and has a great potential for biochips based on integrated optical devices.


► A sensitive label-free PSM biosensor on SOI wafer was fabricated by electrochemical etching. ► By simulations and experiments, we optimized PSM biosensor with a high Q value and a high sensitivity. ► This biosensor was used for DNA detection and red shift shows a good linear relationship with DNA. ► This optical PSM on SOI could be a great potential for biochips based on integrated optical devices.


  • Silicon-on-insulator wafer;
  • Porous silicon microcavity;
  • DNA biosensor;
  • High sensitivity



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