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Optimization of angularly resolved Bloch surface wave biosensors

: Rizzo, Riccardo; Danz, Norbert; Michelotti, Francesco; Maillart, Emmanuel; Anopchenko, Aleksei; Wächter, Christoph

Postprint (2.9 MByte; PDF; )

Optics Express 22 (2014), No.19, pp.23202-23214
ISSN: 1094-4087
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IOF ()

Bloch surface wave (BSW) sensors to be used in biochemical analytics are discussed in angularly resolved detection mode and are compared to surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensors. BSW supported at the surface of a dielectric thin film stack feature many degrees of design freedom that enable tuning of resonance properties. In order to obtain a figure of merit for such optimization, the measurement uncertainty depending on resonance width and depth is deduced from different numerical models. This yields a limit of detection which depends on the sensor’s free measurement range and which is compared to a figure of merit derived previously. Stack design is illustrated for a BSW supporting thin film stack and is compared to the performance of a gold thin film for SPR sensing. Maximum sensitivity is obtained for a variety of stacks with the resonance positioned slightly above the TIR critical angle. Very narrow resonance widths of BSW sensors require sufficient sampling but are also associated with long surface wave propagation lengths as the limiting parameter for the performance of this kind of sensors.