Grating coupler integrated photodiodes for plasmon resonance based sensing
Lab on a Chip
Royal Society of Chemistry
282 - 287
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In this work, we demonstrate an integrated sensor combining a grating-coupled plasmon resonance surface with a planar photodiode. Plasmon enhanced transmission is employed as a sensitive refractive index (RI) sensing mechanism. Enhanced transmission of light is monitored via the integrated photodiode by tuning the angle of incidence of a collimated beam near the sharp plasmon resonance condition. Slight changes of the effective refractive index (RI) shift the resonance angle, resulting in a change in the photocurrent. Owing to the planar sensing mechanism, the design permits a high areal density of sensing spots. In the design, absence of holes that facilitate resonant transmission of light, allows an easy-to-implement fabrication procedure and relative insensitivity to fabrication errors. Theoretical and experimental results agree well. An equivalent long-term RI noise of 6.3 × 10 -6 is obtained by using an 8 mW He-Ne laser, compared to a shot-noise limited theoretical sensitivity of 5.61 × 10-9. The device features full benefits of grating-coupled plasmon resonance, such as enhancement of sensitivity for non-zero azimuthal angle of incidence. Further sensitivity enhancement using balanced detection and optimal plasmon coupling conditions are discussed. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.