Applications and developments of on-chip biochemical sensors based on optofluidic photonic crystal cavities
Photonic crystal (PC) cavities, which possess the advantages of compactness, flexible design, and suitability for integration in a lab-on-a-chip system, are able to distinguish slight variations in refractive index with only a small amount of analyte. Combined with the newly proposed optofluidic technology, PC-cavity devices stimulate an emerging class of miniaturized and label-free biochemical sensors. In this review, an overview of optofluidic PC cavities based biochemical sensors is presented. First, the basic properties of the PC, as well as the sensing principle of the PC cavity, are discussed. Second, the applications of the sensors in detecting gas, liquid, and biomolecule concentrations are reviewed, with a focus on their structures, sensing principles, sensing properties, advantages, and disadvantages. Finally, the current challenges and future development directions of optofluidic PC-cavity-based biochemical sensors are discussed.