Two-dimensional photonic crystals for sensitive microscale chemical and biochemical sensing
Photonic crystals – optical devices able to respond to changes in the refractive index of a small volume of space – are an emerging class of label-free chemical- and bio-sensors. This review focuses on one class of photonic crystal, in which light is confined to a patterned planar material layer of sub-wavelength thickness. These devices are small (on the order of tens to hundreds of microns square), suitable for incorporation into lab-on-a-chip systems, and in theory can provide exceptional sensitivity. We introduce the defining characteristics and basic operation of two-dimensional photonic crystal sensors, describe variations of their basic design geometry, and summarize reported detection results from chemical and biological sensing experiments.