Silicon-based optical biosensors hold great promise as low-cost, lab-on-chip sensor array elements due to their compatibility with both standard microelectronics processing and standard surface functionalization techniques. Key metrics of these optical biosensors include sensitivity, which is largely derived from the level of interaction between light and the target molecules to be detected, selectivity, and robustness. This talk will present several approaches to increase detection sensitivity through the use of on-chip resonant cavity geometries and porous substrates. The outlook for translating promising silicon-based benchtop sensing platforms into reliable clinical and point-of-care diagnostic devices will also be discussed.
Sharon Weiss is a Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Engineering and Professor of Electrical Engineering, Physics, and Materials Science at Vanderbilt University. She also serves as Director of the Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. Prof. Weiss received her Ph.D. degree from the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester. Her research group primarily focuses on silicon photonics for optical biosensing and optical communication, as well as hybrid and nanocomposite material systems. Prof. Weiss is a Fellow of SPIE and OSA and has been awarded a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, National Science Foundation CAREER award, Army Research Office Young Investigator Award, and IEEE Photonics Society Distinguished Lecturer award. She has also earned a Vanderbilt Chancellor's Award for Research and Excellence in Teaching Award.