Optical Materials (OM)
One Spot – Two Sensors: Porous Silicon
One Spot – Two Sensors: Porous Silicon Interferometers in Combination with Gold Nanostructures showing Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance
R. F. Balderas-Valadez, R. Schürmann, C. Pacholski
Sensors composed of a porous silicon monolayer covered with a film of nanostructured gold layer, which provide two optical signal transduction methods, are fabricated and thoroughly characterized concerning their sensing performance. For this purpose, silicon substrates were electrochemically etched in order to obtain porous silicon monolayers, which were subsequently immersed in gold salt solution facilitating the formation of a porous gold nanoparticle layer on top of the porous silicon. The deposition process was monitored by reflectance spectroscopy, and the appearance of a dip in the interference pattern of the porous silicon layer was observed. This dip can be assigned to the absorption of light by the deposited gold nanostructures leading to localized surface plasmon resonance. The bulk sensitivity of these sensors was determined by recording reflectance spectra in media having different refractive indices and compared to sensors exclusively based on porous silicon or gold nanostructures. A thorough analysis of resulting shifts of the different optical signals in the reflectance spectra on the wavelength scale indicated that the optical response of the porous silicon sensor is not influenced by the presence of a gold nanostructure on top. Moreover, the adsorption of thiol-terminated polystyrene to the sensor surface was solely detected by changes in the position of the dip in the reflectance spectrum, which is assigned to localized surface plasmon resonance in the gold nanostructures. The interference pattern resulting from the porous silicon layer is not shifted to longer wavelengths by the adsorption indicating the independence of the optical response of the two nanostructures, namely porous silicon and nanostructured gold layer, to refractive index changes and pointing to the successful realization of two sensors in one spot.
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