Carnegie Mellon University

Electrical and Computer Engineering

College of Engineering

Course Information

18-416: Nano-Bio-Photonics




Light can penetrate biological tissues non-invasively. Most of the available bio-optic tools are bulky. With the advent of novel nanotechnologies, building on-chip integrated photonic devices for applications such as sensing, imaging, neural stimulation, and monitoring is now a possibility. These devices can be embedded in portable electronic devices such as cell phones for point of care diagnostics. This course is designed to convey the concepts of nano-bio-photonics in a practical way to prepare students to engage in emerging photonic technologies. The course starts with a review of electrodynamics of lightwaves. The appropriate choice of wavelength and material platform is the next topic. Then optical waveguides and resonators are discussed. Resonance-based sensing is introduced followed by a discussion of the Figure of Merits (FOMs) used to design on-chip sensors. Silicon photonics is introduced as an example of a CMOS-compatible platform. On-chip spectroscopy is the next topic. The second part covers nano-plasmonics for bio-detection and therapy. The design methods are discussed, followed by an overview of nanofabrication and chemical synthesis, and then a discussion of applications. The last part of this course will be dedicated to a review of recent applications such as Optogenetic neural stimulation, Calcium imaging, Cancer Imaging and Therapy. Senior or graduate standing required.

This course is cross-listed with 18-416. Although students in 18-616 and 18-416 will share the same lectures and recitations, students in 18-616 will receive distinct course projects. Students in 18-416 and 18-616 will be graded on separate curves.

This course was formerly numbered 18-413.

Prerequisites: 18-300

Last Modified: 2022-11-07 4:50PM

Semesters offered:

  • Spring 2023
  • Spring 2022
  • Spring 2021
  • Spring 2020
  • Spring 2019
  • Fall 2007
  • Fall 2006
  • Fall 2005