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Plasmonic Nanoparticle-Functionalised Exposed-Core Fiber - an Optofluidic Refractive Index Sensing Platform

Doherty, Brenda; Thiele, Matthias; Warren-Smith, Stephen C.; Schartner, Erik P.; Ebendorff-Heidepriem, Heike; Fritzsche, Wolfgang; Schmidt, Heidemarie
in: Optics Letters (2017) 4395

Here we show that immobilizing ensembles of gold nanospheres within tailored areas on the open side of an exposed-core microstructured fiber yields a monolithic, highly sensitive plasmon-based refractive index sensor. The nanoparticle densities (average nanoparticle diameter: 45 nm) on the small-core fiber (core diameter: 2.5 μm) are controlled electrostatically, yielding densities of 4 nanoparticles/μm2. Refractive index sensitivities of 200 nm/RIU for aqueous analytes at high fringe contrast levels (-20 dB) have been observed. Our concept presents an easy-to-use, efficient and multiplex-compatible sensing platform for rapid small-volume detection with the capacity for integration into a bioanalytic, optofluidic or microfluidic system.

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