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Open Access Nano Express

Plasmonic propagations distances for interferometric surface plasmon resonance biosensing

Dominic Lepage, Dominic Carrier, Alvaro Jiménez, Jacques Beauvais and Jan J Dubowski*

Author Affiliations

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC J1K 2R1, Canada

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:388  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-388

Published: 17 May 2011

Abstract

A surface plasmon resonance (SPR) scheme is proposed in which the local phase modulations of the coupled plasmons can interfere and yield phase-sensitive intensity modulations in the measured signal. The result is an increased traceability of the SPR shifts for biosensing applications. The main system limitation is the propagation distance of the coupled plasmon modes. This aspect is therefore studied for thin film microstructures operating in the visible and near-infrared spectral regions. The surface roughness of the substrate layer is examined for different dielectrics and deposition methods. The Au layer, on which the plasmonic modes are propagating and the biosensing occurs, is also examined. The surface roughness and dielectric values for various deposition rates of very thin Au films are measured. We also investigate an interferometric SPR setup where, due to the power flux transfer between plasmon modes, the specific choice of grating coupler can either decrease or increase the plasmon propagation length.