Sensing using differential surface plasmon ellipsometry
Hooper, Ian R.
Sambles, J. Roy
University of Exeter
Journal of Applied Physics
American Institute of Physics
In this work a differential ellipsometric method utilizing surface plasmons (SPs) for monitoring refractive index changes, which could be used in chemical and biological sensors, is presented. The method is based upon determining the azimuth of elliptically polarized light reflected from a Kretschmann SP system, resulting from linearly polarized light containing both p and s components incident upon it. The sensitivity of this azimuth to the refractive index of a dielectric on the nonprism side of the metal film is demonstrated both experimentally and theoretically. The smallest refractive index change which is resolvable is of the order of 10–7 refractive index units, although it is believed that this could be improved upon were it not for experimental constraints due to atmospheric changes and vibrations. The method requires the Kretschmann configuration to be oriented at a fixed angle, and the SP to be excited at a fixed wavelength. With no moving parts this method would be particularly robust from an application point of view.
Copyright © 2004 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in Journal of Applied Physics 96 (2004) and may be found at http://link.aip.org/link/?JAPIAU/96/3004/1
96 (5), pp. 3004-3011