Direct spectral imaging of plasmonic nanohole arrays for real-time sensing
Plasmon-enhanced optical transmission through arrays of nano-structured holes has led to the development of a new generation of optical sensors. In this paper, to dramatically simplify the standard optical setups of these sensors, we position the nanoholes, an LED illumination source and a spacer layer directly on top of a CMOS imager chip. Transmitted light diffracts from the nanohole array, spreading into a spectrum over the space of a millimeter to land on the imager as a full spectrum. Our chip is used as a sensor in both a liquid and a gas environment. The spectrum is monitored in real-time and the plasmon-enhanced transmission peaks shift upon exposure to different concentrations of glycerol-in-water solutions or ethanol vapors in nitrogen. While liquids provide good refractive index contrast for sensing, to enhance sensitivity to solvent vapors, we filled the nanoholes with solvatochromic dyes. This on-chip solution circumvents the bulky components (e.g. microscopes, coupling optics, and spectrometers) needed for traditional plasmonic sensing setups, uses the nanohole array as both the sensing surface and a diffraction grating, and maintains good sensitivity. Finally, we show simultaneous sensing from two side-by-side locations, demonstrating potential for multiplexing and lab on a chip integration.
Seiler, Spencer T.; Rich, Isabel S.; and Lindquist, Nathan C., "Direct spectral imaging of plasmonic nanohole arrays for real-time sensing" (2016). Physics and Engineering Faculty Publications. 18.