Terahertz microfluidic chips sensitivity-enhanced with a few arrays of meta-atoms

Authors: Kazunori Serita, Eiki Matsuda, Kosuke Okada, Hironaru Murakami, Iwao Kawayama, Masayoshi Tonouchi


We present a nonlinear optical crystal (NLOC)-based terahertz (THz) microfluidic chip with a few arrays of split ring resonators (SRRs) for ultra-trace and quantitative measurements of liquid solutions. The proposed chip operates on the basis of near-field coupling between the SRRs and a local emission of point like THz source that is generated in the process of optical rectification in NLOCs on a sub-wavelength scale. The liquid solutions flowing inside the microchannel modify the resonance frequency and peak attenuation in the THz transmission spectra. In contrast to conventional bio-sensing with far/near-field THz waves, our technique can be expected to compactify the chip design as well as realize high sensitive near-field measurement of liquid solutions without any high-power optical/THz source, near-field probes, and prisms. Using this chip, we have succeeded in observing the 31.8 fmol of ion concentration in actual amount of 318 pl water solutions from the shift of the resonance frequency. The technique opens the door to microanalysis of biological samples with THz waves and accelerates development of THz lab-on-chip devices.

Source: APL Photonics, 2018; 3 (5): 051603