A miniaturized optical excitation and detector system is described for detecting fluorescently labeled analytes in electrophoretic microchips and microarrays. The system uses miniature integrated components, light collection, optical fluorescence filtering, and an amorphous a-Si:H detector for detection. The collection of light is accomplished with proximity gathering and/or a micro-lens system. Optical filtering is accomplished by integrated optical filters. Detection is accomplished utilizing a-Si:H detectors.