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Optical detection device based on semi-conductor laser array

Imported: 23 Feb '17 | Published: 22 Oct '02

Gert Ludwig Duveneck, Karlheinz Gulden, Rino Ernst Kunz, Jürgen Söchtig

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

The invention relates to an optical detection device for chemical analyses, comprising at least one light source, at least one photoelectric detection unit and at least one measuring cell, one or more optical paths coupled to the at least one measuring cell being formed between the light source(s) and the photoelectric detection unit(s). In the course of the miniaturization of such detection devices in arrays for the simultaneous detection of a plurality of analytes, according to the prior art edge-emitting semiconductor lasers that had been separated and applied to a substrate were used. Instead of the latter, the invention provides for surface-emitting semiconductor lasers to be used as light sources, which have the advantage of comparatively simple manufacture and of requiring substantially less space. The process of separating the lasers from the mother substrate and affixing them to a foreign substrate, which was necessary hitherto, is eliminated in the detection device according to the invention.

Description

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is explained and described in detail below by means of preferred embodiments and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of a general, first embodiment of the detection device according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of a surface-emitting semiconductor laser suitable for use in the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a three-dimensional plot of the light emission intensity and the wavelength as a function of the drive current;

FIG. 4 is a three-dimensional view of a line array according to the invention of edge-emitting lasers;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of a second embodiment of the detection device according to the invention;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of a third embodiment of the detection device according to the invention;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of a fourth embodiment of the detection device according to the invention;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of a fifth embodiment of the detection device according to the invention; and

FIG. 9 is a schematic representation of a multi-channel sensor system according to the invention.

Claims

1. An optical detection device, comprising:

2. An optical detection device according to claim 1, wherein said at least one light source comprises a plurality of single wavelength surface-emitting semiconductor lasers provided on a common substrate.

3. An optical detection device according to claim 1, wherein said at least one single wavelength surface-emitting semiconductor laser is operable to emit visible light for use in fluorescence spectroscopy.

4. An optical detection device according to claim 3, wherein said at least one single wavelength surface-emitting semiconductor laser comprises a plurality of regions and at least one region of said plurality of regions forms a Bragg mirror and said at least one region comprises a plurality of layers, wherein adjacent layers of said plurality of layers have stoichiometric compositions that change in a continuous manner.

5. An optical detection device according to claim 4 wherein the continuous change of the stoichiometric compositions of said adjacent layers is linear.

6. An optical detection device according to claim 1, wherein said at least one single wavelength surface-emitting semiconductor laser is formed on a substrate and is defined by mesa etching.

7. An optical detection device according to claim 6, wherein said at least one mesa etched single wavelength surface-emitting semiconductor laser comprises an upper surface containing an emission window and flanks, said emission window oriented perpendicularly to said substrate, and said flanks and said upper surface, except for said emission window, are covered by a metal layer.

8. An optical detection device according to claim 7, wherein said at least one mesa etched single wavelength surface-emitting semiconductor laser further comprises an electrical contacting layer, wherein said metal layer is identical with said electrical contacting layer.

9. An optical detection device according to claim 1, further comprising at least one monitoring detection device, each of said at least one monitoring detection device corresponding to one of said at least one light source and being operable to monitor an actual detection light intensity of the detection light emitted by said corresponding one of said at least one light source.

10. An optical detection device according to claim 1, wherein said at least one light source, said at least one photoelectric detection unit, and said at least one optical path are formed on first, second, and third substrates, respectively, wherein said first, second, and third substrates are substantially planar.

11. An optical detection device according to claim 10, wherein said first, second, and third substrates are stacked on top of each other.

12. An optical detection device according to claim 11, wherein said first, second, and third substrates each have registration structures for mutual alignment.

13. An optical detection device according to claim 12, wherein said registration structures are produced using auto-aligning processes.

14. An optical detection:device according to claim 10, further comprising:

15. An optical detection device according to claim 14, further comprising:

16. An optical detection device according to claim 1, wherein said at least one light source is an array of single wavelength surface-emitting semiconductor lasers and said at least one photoelectric detection unit is an array of photoelectric detection units, said array of single wavelength surface-emitting semiconductor lasers having a density greater than a density of said at least one interaction region.

17. An optical detection device according to claim 16, further comprising means for matching a density of the light beams emitted by said array of single wavelength surface-emitting semiconductor lasers to the density of said at least one interaction region.

18. An optical detection device according to claim 17, wherein said means for matching comprise an array of optical fibers, each of said optical fibers having input and output ends and cooperating with a respective one of said array of single wavelength surface-emitting semiconductor lasers, said output ends being spread out in comparison with said input ends in accordance with the density of said at least one interaction region.

19. An optical detection device according to claim 17, further comprising an array of coupling-in elements, each of said coupling-in elements being associated with a respective one of said array of single wavelength surface-emitting semiconductor lasers, wherein said means for matching comprise an array of first optical elements, each of said first optical elements being associated with a respective one of said array of single wavelength surface-emitting semiconductor lasers and being operable to bend the light beam emitted by said respective one of said array of single wavelength surface-emitting semiconductor lasers in a direction substantially perpendicular to a surface of said respective one of said array of single wavelength surface-emitting semiconductor lasers into a direction such that the light beam impinges on a corresponding coupling-in element of said array of coupling-in elements to be coupled into said at least one optical path.

20. An optical detection device according to claim 19, further comprising second optical elements operable to return the light beams of said array of single wavelength surface-emitting semiconductor lasers that have been bent by said array of first optical elements into a direction substantially perpendicular to the surface of said respective one of said array of single wavelength surface-emitting semiconductor lasers.

21. An optical detection device according to claim 1 wherein said at least one light source and said at least one photoelectric detection unit are provided on a common substrate.

22. An optical detection device according to claim 21, wherein said at least one light source and said at least one photoelectric detection unit are arranged on said common substrate in the form of intermeshing, mutually corresponding arrays.

23. An optical detection device according to claim 1, wherein said at least one planar waveguide is structured to guide from one to three modes.

24. An optical detection device according to claim 1, wherein said at least one planar waveguide is made from a material having a high refractive index.

25. An optical detection device according to claim 24 wherein said material comprises at least one of titanium dioxide and tantalum pentoxide.

26. An optical detection device according to claim 1, wherein said at least one specific binding partner forms a sensor layer provided on said at least one planar waveguide and is operable to be selectively sensitive to at least one analyte to be examined in the at least one sample.

27. An optical detection device according to claim 26, wherein said at least one specific binding partner comprises a plurality of binding partners physically separated from each other.

28. An optical detection device according to claim 26, wherein said at least one specific binding partner comprises a plurality of specific binding partners, and wherein not more than one of said plurality of specific binding partners is arranged on a surface of said at least one planar waveguide.

29. An optical detection device according to claim 1, further comprising an adhesion-promoting layer, wherein said adhesion-promotion layer is located between said at least one planar waveguide and'said at least one specific binding partner.

30. An optical detection device according to claim 1, wherein said at least one specific binding partner comprises a plurality of specific binding partners covalently bonded to gold colloids, wherein said gold colloids are smaller than 10 nm.

31. An optical detection device according to claim 1, wherein said substrate is coupled directly to said at least one optical path.

32. An optical detection device according to claim 1, further comprising a housing, wherein said housing is located between said substrate and said at least one optical path.

33. An optical detection device, comprising:

34. An optical detection device according to claim 33, wherein each of said plurality of light sources is associated with one of said corresponding plurality of photoelectric detection units and one of said plurality of optical paths.

35. An optical detection device according to claim 33, wherein each of said plurality of light sources is associated with exactly one of said plurality of said photoelectric detection units and exactly one of said plurality of optical paths.

36. An optical detection device according to claim 33, further comprising a plurality of monitoring detection devices, each of said plurality of monitoring detection devices corresponding to one of said plurality of light sources and being operable to monitor an actual detection light intensity of the detection light emitted by said one of said corresponding plurality of light sources.

37. An optical detection device according to claim 33, wherein said plurality of light sources, said plurality of photoelectric detection units, and said plurality of optical paths are formed on first, second, and third substrates, respectively, wherein said first, second, and third substrates are substantially planar.

38. An optical detection device according to claim 37, wherein said first, second, and third substrates are stacked on top of each other.

39. An optical detection device according to claim 38 wherein said first, second, and third substrates each have registration structures for mutual alignment.

40. An optical detection device according to claim 39, wherein said registration structures are produced using auto-aligning processes.

41. An optical detection device according to claim 37, further comprising:

42. An optical detection device according to claim 41 further comprising:

43. An optical detection device according to claim 33, wherein said at least one linear arrangement of single wavelength edge-emitting semiconductor lasers is an array of single wavelength edge-emitting semiconductor lasers and said plurality of photoelectric detection units is an array of photoelectric detection units, said array of single wavelength edge-emitting semiconductor lasers having a density greater than a density of said at least one interaction region.

44. An optical detection device according to claim 43, further comprising means for matching the density of the light beams emitted by said array of single wavelength edge-emitting semiconductor lasers to the density of said at least one interaction region.

45. An optical detection device according to claim 44, wherein said means for matching comprise an array of optical fibers, each of said optical fibers having input and output ends and cooperating with a respective one of said array of single wavelength edge-emitting semiconductor lasers, said output ends being spread out in comparison with said input ends in accordance with the density of said at least one interaction region.

46. An optical detection device according to claim 44, further comprising an array of coupling-in elements, each of said coupling-in elements being associated with a respective one of said array of single wavelength edge-emitting semiconductor lasers, wherein said means for matching comprise an array of first optical elements, each of said first optical elements being associated with a respective one of said array of single wavelength edge-emitting semiconductor lasers and being operable to bend the light beam emitted by said respective one of said array of single wavelength edge-emitting semiconductor lasers in a direction substantially perpendicular to a surface of said respective one of said array of single wavelength edge-emitting semiconductor lasers into a direction such that the light beam impinges on a corresponding coupling-in element of said array of coupling-in elements to be coupled into said plurality of optical paths.

47. An optical detection device according to claim 46, further comprising second optical elements operable to return the light beams of said array of single wavelength edge-emitting semiconductor lasers that have been bent by said array of first optical elements into a direction substantially perpendicular to the surface of said respective one of said array of single wavelength edge-emitting semiconductor lasers.

48. An optical detection device according to claim 33, wherein said plurality of light sources and said plurality of photoelectric detection units are provided on a common substrate.

49. An optical detection device according to claim 48, wherein said plurality of light sources and said plurality of photoelectric detection units are arranged on said common substrate in the form of intermeshing, mutually corresponding arrays.

50. An optical detection device according to claim 33, wherein each of said plurality of planar waveguides is structured to guide from one to three modes.

51. An optical detection device according to claim 33, wherein said plurality of planar waveguides are made from a material having a high refractive index.

52. An optical detection device according to claim 51, wherein said material comprises at least one of titanium dioxide and tantalum pentoxide.

53. An optical detection device according to claim 33, wherein said at least one specific binding partner forms a sensor layer provided on said plurality of planar waveguides and is operable to be selectively sensitive to at least one analyte to be examined in the at least one sample.

54. An optical detection device according to claim 53, wherein said at least one specific binding partner comprises a plurality of binding partners physically separated from each other.

55. An optical detection device according to claim 53, wherein said at least one specific binding partner comprises a plurality of specific binding partners, and wherein not more than of the said plurality of specific binding partners is arranged on a surface of each of said plurality of planar waveguides.

56. An optical detection device according to claim 33, further comprising an adhesion-promoting layer, wherein said adhesion-promotion layer is located between said plurality of planar waveguides and said at least one specific binding partner.

57. An optical detection device according to claim 33, wherein said at least one specific binding partner comprises a plurality of specific binding partners covalently bonded to gold colloids, wherein said gold colloids are smaller than 10 nm.

58. An optical detection device according to claim 33, wherein said substrate is coupled directly to said plurality of optical paths.

59. An optical detection device according to claim 33, further comprising a housing, wherein said housing is located between said substrate and said plurality of optical paths.

60. A method for the parallel determination of one or more luminescences comprising:

61. A method for the parallel determination of one or more luminescence as claimed in claim 60, wherein the at least one luminescent substance comprises luminescent dyes from the group consisting of rhodamines, fluorescein derivatives, coumarin derivatives, distyryl biphenyls, stilbene derivatives, phthalo cyanines, naphthalocyanines, polypyridyl/ruthenium complexes, such as tris (2, 2′-bipyridyl) ruthenium chloride, tris (1, 10-phenanthroline) ruthenium chloride tris (4, 7-diphenyl-1, 10-phenanthroline) ruthenium chloride and polypyridyl/phenazine/ruthenium complexes, platinum/porphyrin complexes, europium and terbium complexes and cyanine dyes.

62. A method for the parallel determination of one or more luminescence as claimed in claim 60, wherein the at least one sample comprises at least one of egg yolk, blood, serum, plasma, and urine.

63. A method for the parallel determination of one or more luminescence as claimed in claim 60, wherein the at least one sample comprises at least one of surface water, a soil extract, a plant extract, a liquor from biological processes and a liquor from synthesis processes.

64. A method according to claim 60, wherein the substrate is coupled directly to the at least one optical path.

65. A method according to claim 60, wherein a housing is located between the substrate and the at least one optical path.

66. A method for the parallel determination of one or more luminescence, comprising:

67. A method for the parallel determination of one or more luminescence as claimed in claim 66, wherein the at least one luminescent substance comprises luminescent dyes from the group consisting of rhodamines, fluorescein derivatives, coumarin derivatives, distyryl biphenyls, stilbene derivatives, phthalo cyanines, naphthalocyanines, polypyridyl/ruthenium complexes, such as tris (2, 2′-bipyridyl) ruthenium chloride, tris (1, 10-phenanthroline) ruthenium chloride tris (4, 7-diphenyl-1, 10-phenanthroline) ruthenium chloride and polypyridyl/phenazine/ruthenium complexes, platinum/porphyrin complexes, europium and terbium complexes and cyanine dyes.

68. A method for the parallel determination of one or more luminescence as claimed in claim 66, wherein the at least one sample comprises at least one of egg yolk, blood, serum, plasma, and urine.

69. A method for the parallel determination of one or more luminescence as claimed in claim 66, wherein the at least one sample comprises at least one of surface water, a soil extract, a plant extract, a liquor from biological processes and a liquor from synthesis processes.

70. A method according to claim 66, wherein the substrate is coupled directly to the plurality of optical paths.

71. A method according to claim 66, wherein a housing is located between the substrate and the plurality of optical paths.

72. An optical detection device, comprising:

73. An optical detection device according to claim 72, wherein said first substrate and said second substrate are coupled directly to said at least one optical path.

74. An optical detection device according to claim 72, further comprising a housing, wherein said housing is located between said first and second substrates and said at least one optical path.

75. An optical detection device, comprising:

76. An optical detection device according to claim 75, wherein said first substrate and said second substrate are coupled directly to said plurality of optical paths.

77. An optical detection device according to claim 75, further comprising a housing, wherein said housing is located between said first and second substrates and said plurality of optical paths.

78. A method for the parallel determination of one or more luminescences comprising:

79. A method according to claim 78, wherein the first substrate and the second substrate are coupled directly to the at least one optical path.

80. A method according to claim 78, wherein a housing is located between the first and second substrates and the at least one optical path.

81. A method for the parallel determination of one or more luminescence, comprising:

82. A method according to claim 81, wherein the first substrate and the second substrate are coupled directly to the plurality of optical paths.

83. An optical detection device according to claim 81, wherein a housing is located between the first and second substrates and the plurality of optical paths.