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Evanescent field sensors based on tantalum pentoxide waveguides - a review

: Schmitt, K.; Oehse, K.; Sulz, G.; Hoffmann, C.

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Sensors. Online journal (2008), Nr.8, S.711-38
ISSN: 1424-8220
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IPM ()
biosensor; evanescent field; label-free detection; Ta2O5

Evanescent field sensors based on waveguide surfaces play an important role where high sensitivity is required. Particularly tantalum pentoxide (Ta2O5) is a suitable material for thin-film waveguides due to its high refractive index and low attenuation. Many label-free biosensor systems such as grating couplers and interferometric sensors as well as fluorescence-based systems benefit from this waveguide material leading to extremely high sensitivity. Some biosensor systems based on Ta2O5 waveguides already took the step into commercialization. This report reviews the various detection systems in terms of limit of detection, the applications, and the suitable surface chemistry.