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Opt Express. 2009 Sep 14;17(19):16505-17. doi: 10.1364/OE.17.016505.

Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensors: approaching their limits?

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  • 1Institute of Photonics and Electronics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Chabersk√° 57, Prague, Czech Republic.


We report on a unified theoretical model of the resolution of SPR sensors which makes it possible to predict the ultimate performance of all major configurations of SPR sensors. The theory indicates that the performance of SPR sensors is independent of the method of excitation of surface plasmons (prism or grating coupling) or the method of modulation (amplitude, angular or wavelength) and depends dominantly on the noise properties of the light source and detector. Results of the theoretical analysis are compared with the performance reported for several SPR sensors to illustrate that the best state-of-art SPR sensors are approaching their theoretical limits. Possibilities for further advances in the performance of SPR sensor technology are discussed.

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