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Singlemode optical fibre surface plasma wave chemical sensor

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4 Author(s)
A. J. C. Tubb ; Dept. of Eng., Cambridge Univ., UK ; F. P. Payne ; R. Millington ; C. R. Lowe

A novel singlemode optical fibre surface plasma wave sensor which operates over an extremely broad spectral range is reported. This is achieved by coating a gradually tapering singlemode fibre with a thin layer of silver ~50 nm thick on top of an adhesive layer of chromium 3 nm thick. The gradual change in the taper cross-section results in distributed phase matching between the fibre mode and the surface plasma wave, permitting a plasma wave to be excited over a spectral range from ~600 to 1000 nm. The device shows extreme sensitivity to small changes in the external refractive index, with changes in refractive index of ~5×10-4 being detectable. The device has considerable potential as a biochemical sensor using surface immobilisation techniques

Published in:

Electronics Letters  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 20 )