Surface plasmon resonance sensors based on uniform-waist tapered fibers in a reflective configuration

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We present a configuration for surface plasmon resonance sensors based on uniform-waist tapered optical fibers and reflective elements. Once the fiber is tapered fulfilling the adiabatic criterion, a multilayer including a metallic medium is asymmetrically deposited on the uniform waist of the fiber. This feature provides the resonant excitation of multiple surface plasma waves. In addition, a mirror is produced at the fiber tip by a chemical Tollens reaction. In this way, the sensor operates in a reflective mode, more convenient for dip probes. When these sensors are spectrally interrogated, a high sensitivity of 10^4 refractive index units per nanometer is attained. These devices can be advantageously used for any kind of chemical sensing and biosensing.
© 2006 Optical Society of America. This work has been partially supported by Comunidad de Madrid (Spain) projects SELENE (Sensores de fibra óptica reflectivos con tecnologia de campo evanescente), ref. GR/MAT/0620/2004, and ROMA (Nueva generación de Refractómetros de fibra Óptica para aplicaciones MedioAmbientales), ref. GR/AMB/0615/2004, and by Spanish project NESTOR (Nuevas tecnologias de sensores de fibra óptica para la observación del medio marino), Programa Nacional de Recursos Naturales, Ministerio de Ciencía y Tecnología, ref. CTM2004-03899.
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