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Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Editor: Anthony J. Campillo
  • Vol. 31, Iss. 2 — Jan. 15, 2006
  • pp: 205–207

Index-of-refraction sensors: virtually unlimited sensing power at the critical angle

Ruggero Micheletto, Yoichi Kawakami, Katsumi Hamamoto, and Shoji Kawai  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 31, Issue 2, pp. 205-207 (2006)

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In an effort to improve and simplify refractive index sensors, we identified a basic operation mode at the critical angle. Sensitivity to the refractive index is higher than in standard surface plasmon resonance sensors, and we have been able to demonstrate analytically that it is virtually an unbounded value. We describe this approach and submit a complete analytical study demonstrating its unlimited sensing power. To test the approach, we constructed an economical and basic sensor. Despite its simplicity, we demonstrated the discrimination capability to be of the order of 10 6 , as far as we know close to the best sensitivity ever recorded. This detection method is generally applicable to any optical system and may pave the way for the next generation of optical sensing devices.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.5710) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Refraction
(130.6010) Integrated optics : Sensors
(230.7390) Optical devices : Waveguides, planar
(240.6680) Optics at surfaces : Surface plasmons

ToC Category:
Instrumentation, Measurement, and Metrology

Ruggero Micheletto, Yoichi Kawakami, Katsumi Hamamoto, and Shoji Kawai, "Index-of-refraction sensors: virtually unlimited sensing power at the critical angle," Opt. Lett. 31, 205-207 (2006)

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