A label free biosensor based upon a vertically emitting distributed feedback (DFB) laser has been demonstrated. The DFB laser comprises a replica-molded, one-dimensional dielectric grating coated with laser dye-doped polymer as the gain medium. Adsorption of biomolecules onto the laser surface alters the DFB laser emission wavelength, thereby permitting the kinetic adsorption of a protein polymer monolayer or the specific binding of small molecules to be quantified. A bulk sensitivity of 16.6 nm per refractive index unit and the detection of a monolayer of the protein polymer poly(Lys, Phe) have been observed with this biosensor. The sensor represents a departure from conventional passive resonant optical sensors from the standpoint that the device actively generates its own narrowband high intensity output without stringent requirements on the coupling alignments, resulting in a simple, robust illumination and detection configuration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number261502
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number26
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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