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Sci Rep. 2013;3:1409. doi: 10.1038/srep01409.

Optical sensing of analytes in aqueous solutions with a multiple surface-plasmon-polariton-wave platform.

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  • 1The Pennsylvania State University - Dept. of Engineering Science and Mechanics, 212 Earth and Engineering Science Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA.


The commonly used optical sensor based on surface plasmon-polariton wave phenomenon can sense just one chemical, because only one SPP wave can be guided by the interface of a metal and a dielectric material contained in the sensor. Multiple analytes could be detected and/or the sensing reliability for a single analyte could be enhanced, if multiple SPP-wave modes could be excited on a single metal/dielectric interface. For that to happen, the partnering dielectric material must be periodically non-homogeneous. Using a chiral sculptured thin film (CSTF) as that material in a SPP-wave platform, we show that the angular locations of multiple SPP-wave modes shift when the void regions of the CSTF are infiltrated with a fluid. The sensitivities realized in the proof-of-concept experiments are comparable to state-of-research values.

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