Integration of Biosensors based on Photonic Integrated Circuits


During the last two decades, integrated photonic sensors have been intensively studied in terms of sensitivity and reliability. However, the bottle-neck for a transfer from laboratory to industry is the position of the sensing area, since it adjoins optical and electronical components. This prohibits a full packaging and makes the sensor handling impractical.

To tackle this general problem, the project BioPIC develops a novel integration approach to separate the sensing area from the rest of the chip. The project idea is to shift the sensor from the water-sensitive front-side of the chip to the back-side.

For the first time, this gives prospective to a fully packaged, cost-effective photonic sensor. The project BioPIC aims to demonstrate the fast detection of cardiac troponin. Cardiac troponins are proteins released into the blood after a heart attack. Here, the envisioned industrial application is a point-of-care sensor for emergency rooms and family doctors.

IHP's Contribution

This project aims to prove the feasibility of an advanced integration approach for biosensors based on a (E)PIC-technology by local back-side etching. The sensor is based on a SOI ring resonator and is monolithically integrated in a SiGe BiCMOS platform. The main contribution by IHP is to demonstrate the feasibility of a back-side etched photonic biosensor in a (E)PIC-technology. This includes the sensor design and chip fabrication including the local back-side etching procedure.


The BioPIC is funded by the Seed-Funding Initiative „ATTRACT“ from financial resourcesfrom Horizon2020.

Project Partners

  • Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)
  • Technical University Wildau

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