Optical microcavities: Single virus detection and nanoparticle trapping

Frank Vollmer, Stephen Arnold

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Single polystyrene nanoparticles are detected from resonance wavelength fluctuations in toroidal and spherical microcavities. The magnitude of the wavelength-shift signal follows a reactive mechanism with inverse dependence on mode volume. By reducing the size of a microsphere cavity we demonstrate sensitivity to single Influenza A virions. Furthermore, we introduce a novel mechanism for trapping and accumulation of nanoparticles at the microcavity-sensorregion by utilizing light-force exerted in evanescent field gradients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiosensing II
StatePublished - 2009
EventBiosensing II - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 4 2009Aug 6 2009

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherBiosensing II
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • microcavity biosensor
  • optical nanoparticle trapping
  • optical resonance
  • virus detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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