Polarization interferometry for real-time spectroscopic plasmonic sensing

Lauren M. Otto, Daniel A. Mohr, Timothy W. Johnson, Sang Hyun Oh, Nathan C. Lindquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We present quantitative, spectroscopic polarization interferometry phase measurements on plasmonic surfaces for sensing applications. By adding a liquid crystal variable wave plate in our beam path, we are able to measure phase shifts due to small refractive index changes on the sensor surface. By scanning in a quick sequence, our technique is extended to demonstrate real-time measurements. While this optical technique is applicable to different sensor geometries - e.g., nanoparticles, nanogratings, or nanoapertures - the plasmonic sensors we use here consist of an ultrasmooth gold layer with buried linear gratings. Using these devices and our phase measurement technique, we calculate a figure of merit that shows improvement over measuring only surface plasmon resonance shifts from a reflected intensity spectrum. To demonstrate the general-purpose versatility of our phase-resolved measurements, we also show numerical simulations with another common device architecture: periodic plasmonic slits. Since our technique inherently measures both the intensity and phase of the reflected or transmitted light simultaneously, quantitative sensor device characterization is possible. This journal is

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4226-4233
Number of pages8
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 7 2015

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© The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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