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Hybrid organic semiconductor lasers for bio-molecular sensing

Haughey, Anne-Marie and Foucher, Caroline and Guilhabert, Benoit and Kanibolotsky, Alexander L. and Skabara, Peter J. and Burley, Glenn and Dawson, Martin D. and Laurand, Nicolas (2014) Hybrid organic semiconductor lasers for bio-molecular sensing. Faraday Discussions, 174. pp. 369-381. ISSN 1359-6640

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Abstract

Bio-functionalised luminescent organic semiconductors are attractive for biophotonics because they can act as efficient laser materials while simultaneously interacting with molecules. In this paper, we present and discuss a laser biosensor platform that utilises a gain layer made of such an organic semiconductor material. The simple structure of the sensor and its operation principle are described. Nanolayer detection is shown experimentally and analysed theoretically in order to assess the potential and the limits of the biosensor. The advantage conferred by the organic semiconductor is explained, and comparisons to laser sensors using alternative dye-doped materials are made. Specific biomolecular sensing is demonstrated, and routes to functionalisation with nucleic acid probes, and future developments opened up by this achievement, are highlighted. Finally, attractive formats for sensing applications are mentioned, as well as colloidal quantum dots, which in the future could be used in conjunction with organic semiconductors.