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Sensors 2011, 11(1), 785-805; doi:10.3390/s110100785

Optical Microspherical Resonators for Biomedical Sensing

MDF Lab, Istituto di Fisica Applicata Nello Carrara (IFAC CNR), Via Madonna del Piano 10, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Firenze, Italy
Centro Studi e Ricerche e Museo Storico della Fisica Enrico Fermi, Piazza del Viminale 1, 00184 Roma, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 December 2010 / Revised: 28 December 2010 / Accepted: 6 January 2011 / Published: 12 January 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Resonant Microsensors)
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Optical resonators play an ubiquitous role in modern optics. A particular class of optical resonators is constituted by spherical dielectric structures, where optical rays are total internal reflected. Due to minimal reflection losses and to potentially very low material absorption, these guided modes, known as whispering gallery modes, can confer the resonator an exceptionally high quality factor Q, leading to high energy density, narrow resonant-wavelength lines and a lengthy cavity ringdown. These attractive characteristics make these miniaturized optical resonators especially suited as laser cavities and resonant filters, but also as very sensitive sensors. First, a brief analysis is presented of the characteristics of microspherical resonators, of their fabrication methods, and of the light coupling techniques. Then, we attempt to overview some of the recent advances in the development of microspherical biosensors, underlining a number of important applications in the biomedical field.
Keywords: microspheres; whispering gallery modes; biomedical sensors; optical resonators microspheres; whispering gallery modes; biomedical sensors; optical resonators
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Soria, S.; Berneschi, S.; Brenci, M.; Cosi, F.; Nunzi Conti, G.; Pelli, S.; Righini, G.C. Optical Microspherical Resonators for Biomedical Sensing. Sensors 2011, 11, 785-805.

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