Particle labels are used in biosensors to detect the presence and concentration of analyte molecules. In this paper we demonstrate an optical technique to measure the mobility and height of bound particle labels on a biosensor surface with single-label resolution. The technique is based on the detection of the particle-induced light scattering in an optical evanescent field. We show that the thermal particle motion in the optical evanescent field leads to intensity fluctuations that can accurately be detected. The technique is demonstrated using 290 bp (99 nm) DNA as an analyte and using polystyrene particles and magnetic particles with diameters between 500 and 1000 nm as labels. The particle intensity histograms show that quantitative height measurements are obtained for particles with uniform optical properties, and the intensity versus position plots reflect the analyte–antibody orientation and the analyte flexibility. The novel optical detection technique will lead to biosensors with very high sensitivity and specificity.