Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sculptured materials allow multiple channel plasmonic sensors

Date:
November 15, 2009
Source:
Penn State
Summary:
Sensors, communications devices and imaging equipment that use a prism and a special form of light -- a surface plasmon-polariton -- may incorporate multiple channels or redundant applications if manufacturers use sculptured thin films.

Sensors, communications devices and imaging equipment that use a prism and a special form of light -- a surface plasmon-polariton -- may incorporate multiple channels or redundant applications if manufacturers use sculptured thin films.

Related Articles


"Everyone uses surface plasmon resonance sensors. They are a multi billion-dollar industry worldwide," said Akhlesh Lakhtakia, the Charles Godfrey Binder (Endowed) professor of engineering science and mechanics, Penn State. "This type of sensor provides a fairly quick way to see what you have. It can tell you the concentration of chemicals, but in order to test for more than one chemical today, manufacturers have to use more than one sensor."

Surface plasmon resonance devices currently have a wide range of applications. They are commercially used as sensors for humidity, temperature, chemical concentrations and chemical composition. SPR devices can be used in a form of surface microscopy, as wave guides and tunable filters. Creating two or more channels in each device would multiply SPR utility in all areas of application.

Surface plasmon-polaritons are electromagnetic waves that flow along a sandwich of a metal and a dielectric. When light shines through a prism onto the sandwich, electrons form a cloud or plasma in the metal and the molecules of the dielectric get stretched or polarized. Under special conditions, a plasmon-polariton combination forms and moves as a single unit along the sandwich. The formation can be disturbed by the presence of an additional chemical in the dielectric. The disturbance provides the sensing principle. Useful as they are, each sensor can only detect one chemical for each prism and sandwich.

In a series of papers Lakhtakia and his colleagues report on their theoretical and experimental investigation into the possibility of propagating more than one surface plasmon-polariton wave of the same color on a substrate. They recently reported on their experimental work in the Journal of Nanophotonics and the journal Electonic Letters.

The theoretical work indicated that for one wavelength or color of light, it should be possible to generate not just one, but up to three possible plasmon-polaritons if the dielectric used is not a traditional material, but a periodically non-homogeneous sculptured nematic thin film.

"Just because the mathematics suggest three possible surface plasmon-polariton waves does not mean that they can actually all be created," said Lakhtakia. "We had to find someone who could produce the thin films that we needed to test the possibilities experimentally."

Yi-Jun Jen, professor and chair, and Chia-Feng Lin, graduate student, both of the department of electro-optical engineering, National Taipei University of Technology, fabricated the sculptured nematic thin films that were then used in a standard Kretschmann surface plasma resonance sensor configuration. The researchers found that they produced three surface plasmon-polariton waves of light with the same wavelength or color, but with three different speeds. Two of these were polarized in one direction -- p polarized -- and the third was polarized in the other direction -- s polarized.

"This would allow us to test more than two things or to test for the same thing twice in order to reduce sensing errors," said Lakhtakia.

The key to this finding is that sculptured thin films are not the same structure along their thickness. Instead, the pattern of sculpturing does periodically repeat. This periodicity allows the production of two or more surface waves of the same wavelength.

Lakhtakia, working with Devender, an international undergraduate research intern and Drew Patrick Pulsifer, graduated student in engineering science and mechanics, next tried a chiral sculptured thin film. Chiral thin films are similar to periodic sculptured nematic thin films but are like a multitude of parallel corkscrews. Using these thin films the researchers generated two surface plasmon-polaritons waves, but with different speeds, both with p-polarized light.

"If this approach can be optimized and commercialized, there are exciting prospects in store for plasmonic-based sensing, imaging and communications," said Lakhtakia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Penn State. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Penn State. "Sculptured materials allow multiple channel plasmonic sensors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091110171737.htm>.
Penn State. (2009, November 15). Sculptured materials allow multiple channel plasmonic sensors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091110171737.htm
Penn State. "Sculptured materials allow multiple channel plasmonic sensors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091110171737.htm (accessed April 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

MINI Shows Off Augmented Reality Glasses

MINI Shows Off Augmented Reality Glasses

AP (Apr. 24, 2015) — MINI showcased its new augmented reality glasses at the Shanghai Auto Show this week, which designers say will make roads safer and allow the driver to see through opaque parts of the car. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Food Printing: The Meal of the Future?

3D Food Printing: The Meal of the Future?

AP (Apr. 23, 2015) — Developers of 3D food printing hope the culinary technology will revolutionize the way we cook and eat. (April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Safest Bike Ever' Devised by British Entrepreneur

'Safest Bike Ever' Devised by British Entrepreneur

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 23, 2015) — A British inventor says his Babel bike is the safest bicycle ever produced. Crispin Sinclair - son of famous British inventor Sir Clive Sinclair - hopes the bike&apos;s safety cage, double seatbelt, and host of other measures will inspire non-cyclists to get in the saddle. Jim Drury went to see it in action. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Successful Aerial Refueling of a Drone

First Successful Aerial Refueling of a Drone

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 23, 2015) — The bat-wing U.S. Navy drone that became the first autonomous airplane to take off and land on an aircraft carrier accomplished yet another milestone on Wednesday, becoming the first unmanned aircraft to undergo aerial refueling. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins