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Proceedings Paper

Surface plasmon resonance sensing structure
Author(s): Paulo Lourenço; Alessandro Fantoni; Paula Louro; João Costa; Manuela Vieira
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Paper Abstract

Surface Plasmon Resonance occurs when a polarized electromagnetic field strikes a metallic surface at the separation interface between metal and an insulator. This phenomenon is characterized by the conduction electrons resonant oscillation at the interface, resulting on propagating plasmon waves on the metallic surface. Since this wave is generated at the boundary between the metallic surface and the external medium, these structures are highly sensitive to alterations on the surrounding environment, namely the refractive index, and may be used in sensing structures. The large majority of these devices use noble metals, namely gold or silver, as the active material. These metals present low resistivity, which leads to low optical losses in the visible and near infrared spectrum ranges. Gold shows high environmental stability, which is essential for long-term operation, and silver’s lower stability can be overcome through the deposition of an alumina layer. However, their high cost is a limiting factor if the intended target is large scale manufacturing. In this work, we performed Finite Differences Time Domain simulations on a Surface Plasmon Resonance based sensing structure, considering cost-effective materials such as aluminium for the active metal and hydrogenated amorphous silicon for the waveguide supporting elements, and verified that these structures are able to detect refractive index variations of the surrounding environment at the 1550 μm operating wavelength. This sensing architecture has also been modelled with dispersive materials, losses included, to reflect as much as possible physical reality, revealing good performance capabilities when compared to similar noble metals based devices.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 March 2020
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 11274, Physics and Simulation of Optoelectronic Devices XXVIII, 1127415 (2 March 2020); doi: 10.1117/12.2546231
Show Author Affiliations
Paulo Lourenço, Univ. Nova de Lisboa (Portugal)
Alessandro Fantoni, Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa (Portugal)
Univ. Nova de Lisboa (Portugal)
Paula Louro, Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa (Portugal)
Univ. Nova de Lisboa (Portugal)
João Costa, Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa (Portugal)
Univ. Nova de Lisboa (Portugal)
Manuela Vieira, Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa (Portugal)
Univ. Nova de Lisboa (Portugal)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11274:
Physics and Simulation of Optoelectronic Devices XXVIII
Bernd Witzigmann; Marek Osiński; Yasuhiko Arakawa, Editor(s)

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