Designing a biosensing device based on wavelength selective emitters

Fabian Liebscher, University of Rhode Island


In this study, a new approach to design biosensors based on selective thermal emitters is developed. This approach allows the detection of biological molecules or chemical compounds in solution using the unique thermal emissivity spectra of each molecule. However in the last decades the applied and developed biosensors mainly use changes in electrical properties such as current or voltage or changes in optical characteristics caused by surface Plasmon resonance or fluorescence. After years of research, these sensors still show disadvantages such as high cost and time- consumptions. Biosensors based on selective thermal emitter provide an opportunity to avoid these weaknesses while they show a high selectivity and sensitivity, if the emission spectrum matches with the analyte(s) of interest. Therefore, various different designs of selective emitters are simulated. The physical principles of radiation heat transfer are transferred into a MATLAB code in order to analyze and compare the different emissivity spectra with certain molecules and chemical compounds. The investigated designs are thin film applications (single and multilayer) as well as polymers doped with nanoparticles. The needed optical properties, defined by the permittivity of the materials are implemented, as well. The results show that selective thermal emitter can serve as biosensors e.g. for DNA due to their unique spectrum of emissivity.

Subject Area

Biomedical engineering|Mechanical engineering

Recommended Citation

Fabian Liebscher, "Designing a biosensing device based on wavelength selective emitters" (2016). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI1600698.