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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 and 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 proof 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.


Das BioPIC wird über die Seed-Funding Initiative „ATTRACT“ aus Mitteln der Horizon2020 finanziert.

Project Partners

  • Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM)
  • Technische Hochschule Wildau
The building and the infrastructure of the IHP were funded by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union, funds of the Federal Government and also funds of the Federal State of Brandenburg.