Optical Materials (OM)
A Win−Win Situation
Plasmonic Nanohole Arrays on Top of Porous Silicon Sensors: A Win−Win Situation
R. F. Balderas-Valadez; C. Pacholski
Label-free optical sensors are attractive candidates, for example, for detecting toxic substances and monitoring biomolecular interactions. Their performance can be pushed by the design of the sensor through clever material choices and integration of components. In this work, two porous materials, namely, porous silicon and plasmonic nanohole arrays, are combined in order to obtain increased sensitivity and dual-mode sensing capabilities. For this purpose, porous silicon monolayers are prepared by electrochemical etching and plasmonic nanohole arrays are obtained using a bottom-up strategy. Hybrid sensors of these two materials are realized by transferring the plasmonic nanohole array on top of the porous silicon. Reflectance spectra of the hybrid sensors are characterized by a fringe pattern resulting from the Fabry–Pérot interference at the porous silicon borders, which is overlaid with a broad dip based on surface plasmon resonance in the plasmonic nanohole array. In addition, the hybrid sensor shows a significant higher reflectance in comparison to the porous silicon monolayer. The sensitivities of the hybrid sensor to refractive index changes are separately determined for both components. A significant increase in sensitivity from 213 ± 12 to 386 ± 5 nm/RIU is determined for the transfer of the plasmonic nanohole array sensors from solid glass substrates to porous silicon monolayers. In contrast, the spectral position of the interference pattern of porous silicon monolayers in different media is not affected by the presence of the plasmonic nanohole array. However, the changes in fringe pattern reflectance of the hybrid sensor are increased 3.7-fold after being covered with plasmonic nanohole arrays and could be used for high-sensitivity sensing. Finally, the capability of the hybrid sensor for simultaneous and independent dual-mode sensing is demonstrated.
Journal Article