Differential ellipsometric surface plasmon resonance sensors with liquid crystal polarization modulators

Hooper, I. R.; Sambles, J. R.
October 2004
Applied Physics Letters;10/11/2004, Vol. 85 Issue 15, p3017
Academic Journal
Differential ellipsometric interrogation of surface plasmon (SP) resonances is a technique that gives ultrahigh sensitivity to refractive index changes, and it may provide the basis for chemical and biological sensors. In this study, a liquid crystal polarization modulator has been developed to provide such a differential technique. A refractive index sensitivity of 2×10-7 refractive index units is demonstrated, which is at least as sensitive as more established SP sensing techniques. The use of a liquid crystal modulator allows for low-voltage signal modulation and also feedback locking to zero. Possibly more important, it leads to pixelization for array sensing and for potential imaging.


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