OSA's Digital Library

Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Vol. 29, Iss. 20 — Oct. 15, 2004
  • pp: 2378–2380

Highly sensitive differential phase-sensitive surface plasmon resonance biosensor based on the Mach–Zehnder configuration

S. Y. Wu, H. P. Ho, W. C. Law, Chinlon Lin, and S. K. Kong  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 29, Issue 20, pp. 2378-2380 (2004)

View Full Text Article

Acrobat PDF (382 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



A high-sensitivity surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensor based on the Mach–Zehnder interferometer design is presented. The novel feature of the new design is the use of a Wollaston prism through which the phase quantities of the p and s polarizations are interrogated simultaneously. Since SPR affects only the p polarization, the signal due to the s polarization can be used as the reference. Consequently, the differential phase between the two polarizations allows us to eliminate all common-path phase noise while keeping the phase change caused by the SPR effect. Experimental results obtained from glycerin–water mixtures indicate that the sensitivity limit of our scheme is 5.5 × 10-8 refractive-index units per 0.01° phase change. To our knowledge, this is a significant improvement over previously obtained results when gold was used as the sensor surface. Such an improvement in the sensitivity limit should allow SPR biosensors to become a possible replacement for conventional biosensing techniques based on fluorescence. Monitoring of the bovine serum albumin (BSA) binding reaction with BSA antibodies is also demonstrated.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.3180) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Interferometry
(170.3890) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical optics instrumentation

S. Y. Wu, H. P. Ho, W. C. Law, Chinlon Lin, and S. K. Kong, "Highly sensitive differential phase-sensitive surface plasmon resonance biosensor based on the Mach–Zehnder configuration," Opt. Lett. 29, 2378-2380 (2004)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset


  1. J. Homola, S. S. Yee, and G. Gauglitz, Sens. Actuators B 54, 3 (1999).
  2. A. V. Kabashin and P. I. Nikitin, Opt. Commun. 150, 5 (1998).
  3. T. M. Chinowsky, J. G. Quinn, D. U. Bartholomew, R. Kaiser, and J. L. Elk, Sens. Actuators B 91, 266 (2003).
  4. P. I. Nikitin, A. N. Grigorenko, A. A. Beloglazov, M. V. Valeiko, A. I. Savchuk, O. A. Savchuk, G. Steiner, C. Kuhne, A. Huebner, and R. Salzer, Sens. Actuators B 85, 189 (2000).
  5. H. P. Ho, W. W. Lam, and S. Y. Wu, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 73, 3534 (2002).
  6. P. Yeh, Optical Waves in Layered Media (Wiley, New York, 1988).
  7. R. C. Weast, ed., CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 68th ed. (CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fla.), p. D-232.

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited