Near-field terahertz sensing of HeLa cells and Pseudomonas based on monolithic integrated metamaterials with a spintronic terahertz emitter

Zhongyang Bai, Yongshan Liu, Ruru Kong, Tianxiao Nie*, Yun Sun, Helin Li, Tong Sun, Chandan Pandey, Yining Wang, Haoyi Zhang, Qinglin Song, Guozhen Liu, Michael Kraft, Weisheng Zhao, Xiaojun Wu*, Lianggong Wen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Label-free biosensors operating within the terahertz (THz) spectra have helped to unlock a myriad of potential THz applications, ranging from biomaterial detection to point-of-care diagnostics. However, the THz wave diffraction limit and the lack of emitter-integrated THz biosensors hinder the proliferation of high-resolution near-field label-free THz biosensing. Here, a monolithic THz emission biosensor (TEB) is achieved for the first time by integrating asymmetric double-split ring resonator metamaterials with a ferromagnetic heterojunction spintronic THz emitter. This device exhibits an electromagnetically induced transparency window with a resonance frequency of 1.02 THz and a spintronic THz radiation source with a bandwidth of 900 GHz, which are integrated on a fused silica substrate monolithically for the first time. It was observed that the resonance frequency experienced a red-shift behavior with increasing concentration of HeLa cells and Pseudomonas because of the strong interaction between the spintronic THz radiation and the biological samples on the metamaterials. The spatial frequency red-shift resolution is ∼0.01 THz with a Pseudomonas concentration increase from ∼0.5 × 104 to ∼1 × 104/mL. The monolithic THz biosensor is also sensitive to the sample concentration distribution with a 15.68 sensitivity under a spatial resolution of 500 μm, which is determined by the infrared pump light diffraction limit. This TEB shows great potential for high-resolution near-field biosensing applications of trace biological samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35895-35902
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number32
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • electromagnetically induced transparency analogue
  • metamaterials
  • monolithic integration
  • near-field biosensing
  • spintronic terahertz emitter


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