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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Advancements in on-chip and free-space optical sensing technologies Nichols, Jacqueline


Optical detection technologies for on-chip and free-space applications have numerous benefits. When appropriately designed, these systems offer heightened sensitivity for numerous research fields—especially those based upon biochemical technologies. An on- chip sensing system is first presented in this work as an integrated microfluidic architecture for measuring the refractive index of a given sample. The optical sensing capabilities are dictated by an overhead microlens that is fabricated by way of a new electro-dispensing technique. The microlens contact angle can be tuned to allow for sampling of fluid refractive indices with variable ranges and resolutions. A free-space optical sensing system is then presented. The system utilizes retroreflective elements to detect microscopic particles in macroscopic volumes. System refinements are made to the geometry, shape, and materials. Imaging refinements are then made to further increase the overall sensitivity of the system.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International