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Exploiting the phase properties of Bloch surface waves on photonic crystals for efficient optical sensing

: Sinibaldi, Alberto; Rizzo Riccardo; Anopchenko, Aleksei; Danz, Norbert; Descrovi, Emiliano; Munzert, Peter; Michelotti, Francesco


Berghmans, F. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Optical Sensing and Detection III : 17-17 April 2014, Brussels, Belgium
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2014 (Proceedings of SPIE 9141)
ISBN: 978-1-62841-089-1
Paper 91410E
Conference "Optical Sensing and Detection" <3, 2014, Brussels>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IOF ()
optical sensing; photonic crystals; Bloch surface waves; biophotonics ellipsometry

Optical sensors exploiting Bloch surface waves at the truncation edge of one dimensional photonic crystals are used here as a valid alternative to surface plasmon resonance operating in the Kretschmann-Raether configuration, and commonly adopted for label-free optical biosensing. In order to reduce the Bloch surface waves resonance width and increase the resolution it is desirable to work with one dimensional photonic crystals with as small losses as possible. However this makes that the resonances observed in a single polarization reflection scheme are shallow and difficult to track in a sensing experiment. Here we report on the practical implementation of an angularly resolved ellipsometric optical sensing scheme based on Bloch surface waves sustained by tantalia/silica multilayers. The angular resolution is obtained by a focused illumination at fixed wavelength and detecting the angular reflectance spectrum by means of a CMOS array detector. The experimental results, obtained by using one tantalia/silica multilayer with a defined structure, show that the limit of detection can be pushed below 2.1x10-7RIU/Hz1/2.