Split-ring resonators (SRRs) have been the subject of investigation as plasmonic sensors that operate by sensing plasmon resonance shift δλ when exposed to a medium with a refractive index change δn. However, conventional planar SRRs have their plasmon fields spread into the substrates, reducing accessible sensing volume and its sensing performance. Such a limitation can be eradicated with vertical SRRs in which the plasmon fields localized in SRR gaps are lifted off from the substrate, allowing for greatly enhanced sensitivity. Here, we demonstrate the highest sensitivity among reported SRR-based sensors in optical frequencies.
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