Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

Committee Chair

Lawrence A Hornak


Biosensors are powerful tools aimed at providing selective identification of toxic chemical compounds in industrial products, chemical substances, environmental samples or biological systems (e.g., bacteria, virus, or tissue components) for biomedical diagnosis. A new generation of biosensors are being developed, which combine the sensitivity and at the low cost of microelectronics.;The Nano/Micro Devices group at Microelectronics Systems Research Center (MSRC) has been researching stacked waveguide optical sensors useful for detecting and quantifying events in biological molecular chemistry, for example, binding events. This thesis describes the results of our initial research of (SPARROW) based technology. This study contains the design and implementation of a SPARROW biosensor with detailed disclosure of building the biosensor involving various steps such as Modeling, fabrication, optical measurements, waveguide loss calculations, simulation software for designing and analyzing the waveguide behavior and experiments to determine the sensors output for water and different concentrations of sucrose.;The SPARROW sensor is based on evanescent wave technique and can detect the changes in refractive index arising from the surface alterations. This architecture can operate as a biosensor through the change in the coupled optical power resulted from antigen bonding to the bio-layer. This thesis describes the process developed to optically characterize the alumina waveguides of the SPARROW device and investigates waveguide film quality as a function of fabrication parameters. These films were fabricated using Ion Source assisted Electron Beam Evaporator. Losses of 1-3 dB/cm have been measured for guiding films using the scattered power measurement technique. The optical binding of the microfluidic channel to the SPARROW device and results from the flow cell experiments are detailed.;This research has been published at the Fall 2006 MRS Conference sensors conference.