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Biosensor simulation using ansys lumerical

In the dynamic fields of biomedical engineering and environmental monitoring, biosensors are essential for detecting and quantifying biological elements. Among the technologies, resonant biosensor grating stands out for its high sensitivity and specificity. This blog post explores biosensor design using Ansys Lumerical tools, which enable the creation of accurate and efficient biosensors from concept to simulation. We examine the impact of designing periodic structures and material variations on sensor performance.

The Role of Ansys Lumerical in Biosensor Simulation

Ansys Lumerical provides a suite of optical simulation tools crucial for predicting light interaction with biosensors at nano and micro scales. These tools facilitate the design of periodic structures, optimize sensor materials, and simulate the interaction of light with biological elements. We introduce the capabilities of Ansys Lumerical in enhancing design efficiency and sensor performance, emphasizing its role in the innovation of biosensor technology.

Crafting Periodic Structures with Precision

Periodic structures are vital for biosensor designs, serving as the medium for detecting and measuring biological interactions. Lumerical enables designers to create these structures with precision to achieve optimal resonance conditions, thus enhancing the sensor's sensitivity to target biomolecules. This segment describes the design process, highlighting the importance of Lumerical's computational engine and user-friendly interface. The grating, made from a 120 nm layer of Silicon Nitride on a 200 nm thick epoxy grating with a 550 nm period, aims to create a narrow resonant reflectivity line for biosensor applications (see Fig.1: Biosensor's structure).

Fig1: Biosensor’s structure

Tuning Sensor Performance with Material Variations

Utilizing Lumerical for biosensor design allows for the simulation of how changes in surrounding materials affect sensor performance. This feature is crucial for optimizing biosensor designs for a range of applications, from healthcare pathogen detection to environmental pollutant monitoring. Initially, a dielectric index of 2.05 for Silicon Nitride and 1.5 for epoxy is used. The grating is immersed in water, setting the background index for the simulation to 1.33. Altering the material to 1.35, we observe a shift in the spectral dip from 837.4 nm to 839.4 nm, demonstrating sensitivity adjustment capabilities (see Fig. 2: Transmission and reflection and Fig. 3: Transmission and reflection of sensing material variations).

Fig (2): Transmission and reflection 





Fig. 3: Transmission and reflection of sensing material (a) 1.33 (b)1.35.  we can see a shift of dip from 837.4 nm to 839.4 nm in the spectrum.

Step-by-Step Simulation with Ansys Lumerical

This section offers a detailed guide on simulating a biosensor design using Ansys Lumerical, covering the journey from setting initial design parameters to analyzing simulation results. It provides insights into crafting effective biosensor designs, including defining sensor geometry, selecting materials, simulating optical responses, and interpreting results for further refinement.



The integration of Ansys Lumerical tools into biosensor design marks a significant advancement in detecting and analyzing biological phenomena. Through detailed simulations, designers and researchers can push the boundaries of biosensor technology, leading to innovations in medical diagnostics and environmental monitoring. The process from conceptual design to material optimization presents a complex yet fascinating journey, brimming with opportunities for innovation.


Post by Majid Ebnali Heidari
April 10, 2024