We report loss improvement and fluorescence detection in integrated antiresonant reflecting optical waveguides with liquid cores. The minimum waveguide loss is reduced to 0.33/cm by compensating for thickness variations in the fabrication process. We demonstrate fluorescence detection from as few as 490 molecules in a 57 pl core using these optimized waveguides. We measure angular fluorescence collection factors as high as 15% per facet in good agreement with theory. This demonstrates the potential of integrated hollow-core waveguides as optical sensors for single-molecule spectroscopy.
(c) 2005 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in Applied Physics Letters and may be found at http://link.aip.org/link/?APPLAB/87/211111/1;