Open-access optical microcavities for lab-on-a-chip refractive index sensing
Open-access optical microcavities provide a novel approach to label-free lab-on-a-chip optofluidic sensing. They offer direct access to a highly confined electromagnetic field, and yield a femtoliter detection volume. This article describes the characteristics of these devices for refractive index sensing. We show that most of the ambient noise can be removed from the refractive index data by simultaneous tracking of resonances across an array of cavities. A sensitivity of 3.5 × 10−4 RIU is demonstrated which corresponds to detecting the refractive index change caused by the presence of 500 000 glucose molecules in aqueous solution.