A Highly Sensitive Sensing Technique via Surface Plasmons With Tunable Prism Refractive Index

Adel Shaaban Awad Elsharkawi, Hassanein Shaban, Lotfy Rabeh Gomaa, Yi Chun Du

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


A new perspective using the Kretschmann configuration is presented to excite surface plasmon polaritons (SPP) at liquid crystal (LC)/metal interface. The excitation of SPP takes place through the electrical tuning of the prism refractive index instead of the commonly used angular interrogation. The results show that the proposed methodology is 30% superior to the traditional angular interrogation. The 5CB (4-pentyl- $4^{\prime} $ -cyanobiphenyl) is one of the best-suited nematic LC materials for the proposed detection framework. Its refractive index is linearly tunable in the range 1.55-1.78 (at wavelength $1.55 \mu \text{m}$ ) via an externally applied electric field. In that range of refractive index variation, the SPP modes are efficiently excited; hence, any minute variation in the analyte refractive index can be detected reliably and accurately through a simple tuning of the refractive index of the prism LC material. The fundamental characteristics of the sensor are assessed through the evaluation of the linearity, sensitivity ( $\textit {S}{)}$ , the full-width at half-maximum (FWHM) of the reflectivity curve, and the figure of merit (FOM). The variation of these characteristics over a whole range of analyte refractive index (1.3-1.4) is presented as well. The electrical tuning provides a well-matched design with micro-scale devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9917-9924
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2023 May 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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