Biotoxoid Photonic Sensors with Temperature Insensitivity Using a Cascade of Ring Resonator and Mach-Zehnder Interferometer

Zhenyu Li, Jun Zou, Huihui Zhu, Yuzhi Shi, Patricia Yang Liu, Jin Zhou, Hong Wang, Zhenchuan Yang, Yufeng Jin, Hong Cai, Yilong Hao, Ai Qun Liu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The great advances in silicon photonic-sensing technology have made it an attractive platform for wide sensing applications. However, most silicon photonic-sensing platforms suffer from high susceptibility to the temperature fluctuation of an operating environment. Additional complex and costly chemical signal-enhancement strategies are usually required to improve the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Here, a biotoxoid photonic sensor that is resistant to temperature fluctuation has been demonstrated. This novel sensor consists of a ring resonator coupled to a Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) readout unit. Instead of using costly wavelength interrogation, our photonic sensor directly measures the light intensity ratio between the two output ports of MZI. The temperature dependence (TD)-controlling section of the MZI is used to eliminate the adverse effects of ambient temperature fluctuation. The simulation and experimental results show a linear relationship between the interrogation function and the concentration of an analyte under operation conditions. The thermal drift of the proposed sensor is just 0.18%, which is a reduction of 567-fold for chemical sensing and 28-fold for immuno-biosensing compared to the conventional single-ring resonator. The SNR increases from 6.85 to 19.88 dB within a 2 °C temperature variation. The high SNR optical sensor promises great potential for amplification-free detection of nucleic acids and other biomarkers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2448-2456
Number of pages9
JournalACS Sensors
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • biotoxoid detection
  • intensity integration
  • MZI
  • ring resonator
  • silicon photonic sensor
  • temperature insensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Instrumentation
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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