Ultrasensitive Biomolecular detection based on nanoPhotonics

Published : 10 January 2019

There is strong market pressure to develop integrated, fast and ultra-sensitive biosensors capable of extracting information at the molecular level, in the context of in situ or portable systems intended for use in routine or personalized health care applications. Such devices could make it possible to perform biological protocols without amplification, their high sensitivity enabling single molecule detection (SMD).

This thesis aims at developing original biosensor architectures allowing ultra-fast and ultra-sensitive acquisition, by exploiting the unique properties of nanowire photodetector networks associated with quantum dots biocompatible markers in order to improve their sensitivity and specificity; while limiting their sensitivity to environmental disturbances (high signal-to-noise ratio); and without prejudice to the future ability to integrate this technology very densely (submicron photodetection pixel pitch).

We propose to demonstrate the detection of light emission by fluorophores or quantum dots grafted on biomolecules, in the visible spectral domain, by AsGa nanowire photodetector arrays. A first prototype will have to be sized and manufactured to operate at wavelengths selected from commercial fluorescent markers or QDs. A multi-wavelength prototype will be considered as a perspective. The performance of the prototype will be qualified before and after microfluidic integration, then the performance of the biosensor will be characterized to target the detection of single molecules.

In addition to a knowledge oriented towards nano-physics, the candidate will have to be interested in biological applications, as well as in integration of the detector prototype into a functional microfluidic device.

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