OSA's Digital Library

Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics


  • Editor: Gregory W. Faris
  • Vol. 4, Iss. 13 — Dec. 2, 2009

Phase and amplitude sensitivities in surface plasmon resonance bio and chemical sensing

Andrei V. Kabashin, Sergiy Patskovsky, and Alexander N. Grigorenko  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 23, pp. 21191-21204 (2009)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (483 KB) Open Access

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



We consider amplitude and phase characteristics of light reflected under the Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) conditions and study their sensitivities to refractive index changes associated with biological and chemical sensing. Our analysis shows that phase can provide at least two orders of magnitude better detection limit due to the following reasons: (i) Maximal phase changes occur in the very dip of the SPR curve where the vector of probing electric field is maximal, whereas maximal amplitude changes are observed on the resonance slopes: this provides a one order of magnitude larger sensitivity of phase to refractive index variations; (ii) Under a proper design of a detection scheme, phase noises can be orders of magnitude lower compared to amplitude ones, which results in a much better signal-to-noise ratio; (iii) Phase offers much better possibilities for signal averaging and filtering, as well as for image treatment. Applying a phase-sensitive SPR polarimetry scheme and using gas calibration model, we experimentally demonstrate the detection limit of 10−8 RIU, which is about two orders of magnitude better compared to amplitude-sensitive schemes. Finally, we show how phase can be employed for filtering and treatment of images in order to improve signal-to-noise ratio even in relatively noisy detection schemes. Combining a much better physical sensitivity and a possibility of imaging and sensing in micro-arrays, phase-sensitive methodologies promise a substantial upgrade of currently available SPR technology.

© 2009 OSA

OCIS Codes
(120.5050) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Phase measurement
(240.6680) Optics at surfaces : Surface plasmons

ToC Category:
Optics at Surfaces

Original Manuscript: September 25, 2009
Revised Manuscript: October 27, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: October 27, 2009
Published: November 6, 2009

Virtual Issues
Vol. 4, Iss. 13 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Andrei V. Kabashin, Sergiy Patskovsky, and Alexander N. Grigorenko, "Phase and amplitude sensitivities in surface plasmon resonance bio and chemical sensing," Opt. Express 17, 21191-21204 (2009)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. B. Liedberg, C. Nylander, and I. Lundstrom, “Biosensing with surface plasmon resonance - how it all started,” Biosens. Bioelectron. 10(8), 1–9 (1995). [CrossRef]
  2. P. Schuck, “Use of surface plasmon resonance to probe the equilibrium and dynamic aspects of interactions between biological macromolecules,” Annu. Rev. Biophys. Biomol. Struct. 26(1), 541–566 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. R. B. M. Schasfoort, and A. J. Tudos, eds., Handbook of Surface Plasmon Resonance (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2008).
  4. B. Liedberg, C. Nylander, and I. Lundstrum, “Surface plasmon resonance for gas detection and biosensing,” Sens. Actuators B Chem. 4(1), 299–304 (1983). [CrossRef]
  5. J. L. Melendez, R. Carr, D. U. Bartholomew, K. A. Kukanskis, J. Elkind, S. S. Yee, C. E. Furlong, and R. G. Woodbury, “A commercial solution for surface plasmon sensing,” Sens. Actuators B Chem. 35(1-3), 212–216 (1996). [CrossRef]
  6. L. M. Zhang and D. Uttamchandani, “Optical chemical sensing employing surface plasmon resonance,” Electron. Lett. 24, 1469–1470 (1988). [CrossRef]
  7. R. Karlsson, “SPR for molecular interaction analysis: a review of emerging application areas,” J. Mol. Recognit. 17(3), 151–161 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. A. V. Kabashin and P. I. Nikitin, “Interferometer based on a surface-plasmon resonance for sensor applications,” Quantum Electron. 27(7), 653–654 (1997). [CrossRef]
  9. A. V. Kabashin and P. I. Nikitin, “Surface plasmon resonance interferometer for bio- and chemical-sensors,” Opt. Commun. 150(1-6), 5–8 (1998). [CrossRef]
  10. A. V. Kabashin, P. I. Nikitin, and A. A. Beloglazov, “A method of examining biological, biochemical and chemical characteristics of a medium and apparatus for its embodiment,” PCT Patent WO 98/57149 (1998); US 6 628 376 (2003).
  11. A. N. Grigorenko, P. I. Nikitin, and A. V. Kabashin, “Phase Jumps and Interferometric Surface Plasmon Resonance Imaging,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 75(25), 3917–3919 (1999). [CrossRef]
  12. A. N. Grigorenko, A. A. Beloglazov, P. I. Nikitin, C. Kuhne, G. Steiner, and R. Salzer, “Dark-field surface plasmon resonance microscopy,” Opt. Commun. 174(1-4), 151–155 (2000). [CrossRef]
  13. P. I. Nikitin, A. N. Grigorenko, A. A. Beloglazov, M. V. Valeiko, A. I. Savchuk, and O. A. Savchuk, “Surface Plasmon Resonance Interferometry for Micro-Array Biosensing,” Sens. Actuators 85(1-3), 189–193 (2000). [CrossRef]
  14. F. Abeles, “Surface Electromagnetic Waves Ellipsometry,” Surf. Sci. 56, 237–251 (1976). [CrossRef]
  15. M. Born, and E. Wolf, Principles of Optics, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2002).
  16. A. G. Notcovich, V. Zhuk, and S. G. Lipson, “Surface plasmon resonance phase imaging,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 76(13), 1665–1667 (2000). [CrossRef]
  17. H. P. Ho, W. W. Lam, and S. Y. Wu, “Surface plasmon resonance sensor based on the measurement of differential phase,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 73(10), 3534–3539 (2002). [CrossRef]
  18. H. P. Ho and W. W. Lam, “Application of differential phase measurement technique to surface plasmon resonance sensors,” Sens. Actuators B Chem. 96(3), 554–559 (2003). [CrossRef]
  19. Y. Xinglong, W. Dingxin, and Y. Zibo, “Simulation and analysis of surface plasmon resonance biosensor based on phase detection,” Sens. Actuators B Chem. 91(1-3), 285–290 (2003). [CrossRef]
  20. S. Y. Wu, H. P. Ho, W. C. Law, C. Lin, and S. K. Kong, “Highly sensitive differential phase-sensitive surface plasmon resonance biosensor based on the Mach-Zehnder configuration,” Opt. Lett. 29(20), 2378–2380 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  21. A. K. Sheridan, R. D. Harris, P. N. Bartlett, and J. S. Wilkinson, “Phase interrogation of an integrated optical SPR sensor,” Sens. Actuators B Chem. 97(1), 114–121 (2004). [CrossRef]
  22. E. V. Alieva and V. N. Konopsky, “Biosensor based on surface plasmon interferometry independent on variations of liquid’s refraction index,” Sens. Actuators B Chem. 99(1), 90–97 (2004). [CrossRef]
  23. Y.-D. Su, S.-J. Chen, and T.-L. Yeh, “Common-path phase-shift interferometry surface plasmon resonance imaging system,” Opt. Lett. 30(12), 1488–1490 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  24. Y. Xinglong, W. Dingxin, W. Xing, D. Xiang, L. Wei, and Z. Xinsheng, “A surface plasmon resonance imaging interferometry for protein micro-array detection,” Sens. Actuators B Chem. 108(1-2), 765–771 (2005). [CrossRef]
  25. S.-J. Chen, Y. D. Su, F.-M. Hsiu, C.-Y. Tsou, and Y.-K. Chen, “Surface plasmon resonance phase-shift interferometry: real-time DNA microarray hybridization analysis,” J. Biomed. Opt. 10(3), 034005 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  26. H. P. Ho, W. C. Law, S. Y. Wu, C. Lin, and S. K. Kong, “Real-time optical biosensor based on differential phase measurement of surface plasmon resonance,” Biosens. Bioelectron. 20(10), 2177–2180 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  27. J. L. Hall, S. Petropavlovskikh, and O. Nilsen, “Polarization-based Interferometric Detector,” US Patent 7, 233 396 (2006).
  28. J.-Y. Lee, H.-C. Shih, C.-T. Hong, and T. K. Chou, “Measurement of refractive index change by surface plasmon resonance and phase quadrature interferometry,” Opt. Commun. 276(2), 283–287 (2007). [CrossRef]
  29. W. Yuan, H. P. Ho, C. L. Wong, S. K. Kong, and C. Lin, “Surface Plasmon Resonance Biosensor incorporated in a Michelson Interferometer with enhanced sensitivity,” IEEE Sens. J. 7(1), 70–73 (2007). [CrossRef]
  30. H. P. Ho, W. Yuan, C. L. Wong, S. Y. Wu, Y. K. Suen, S. K. Kong, and C. Lin, “Sensitivity enhancement based on application of multi-pass interferometry in phase-sensitive surface plasmon resonance biosensor,” Opt. Commun. 275(2), 491–496 (2007). [CrossRef]
  31. W. Yuan, H. P. Ho, Y. K. Suen, S. K. Kong, and C. Lin, “Improving the sensitivity limit of surface plasmon resonance biosensors by detecting mixed interference signals,” Appl. Opt. 46(33), 8068–8073 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  32. C. L. Wong, H. P. Ho, T. T. Yu, Y. K. Suen, W. W. Chow, S. Y. Wu, W. C. Law, W. Yuan, W. J. Li, S. K. Kong, and C. Lin, “Two-dimensional biosensor arrays based on surface plasmon resonance phase imaging,” Appl. Opt. 46(12), 2325–2332 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  33. C. L. Wong, H. P. Ho, Y. K. Suen, S. K. Kong, Q. L. Chen, W. Yuan, and S. Y. Wu, “Real-time protein biosensor arrays based on surface plasmon resonance differential phase imaging,” Biosens. Bioelectron. 24(4), 606–612 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  34. T. Konig, M. Weidemuller, and A. Hemmerich, “Real-time phase-shift detection of the surface plasmon resonance,” Appl. Phys. B 93(2-3), 545–549 (2008). [CrossRef]
  35. G. Nemova, A. V. Kabashin, and R. Kashyap, “Surface Plasmon Polariton Mach-Zehnder refractive index sensor,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 25(10), 1673–1677 (2008). [CrossRef]
  36. S. Y. Wu and H. P. Ho, “Single-beam self-referenced phase-sensitive surface plasmon resonance sensor with high detection resolution,” Chin. Opt. Lett. 6(3), 176–178 (2008). [CrossRef]
  37. I. R. Hooper and J. R. Sambles, “Differential ellipsometric surface plasmon resonance sensors with liquid crystal polarization modulators,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 85(15), 3017–3019 (2004). [CrossRef]
  38. H. P. Chiang, J. L. Lin, R. Chang, S. Y. Su, and P. T. Leung, “High-resolution angular measurement using surface-plasmon-resonance via phase interrogation at optimal incident wavelengths,” Opt. Lett. 30(20), 2727–2729 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  39. R. Naraoka and K. Kajikawa, “Phase detection of surface plasmon resonance using rotating analyzer method,” Sens. Actuators B Chem. 107(2), 952–956 (2005). [CrossRef]
  40. I. R. Hooper, J. R. Sambles, M. C. Pitter, and M. G. Somekh, “Phase sensitive array detection with polarization modulated differential sensing,” Sens. Actuators B Chem. 119(2), 651–655 (2006). [CrossRef]
  41. H. P. Ho, W. C. Law, S. Y. Wu, X. H. Liu, S. P. Wong, C. Lin, and S. K. Kong, “Phase-sensitive surface plasmon resonance biosensor using the photo-elastic modulation technique,” Sens. Actuators B Chem. 114(1), 80–84 (2006). [CrossRef]
  42. P. P. Markowicz, W. C. Law, A. Baev, P. Prasad, S. Patskovsky, and A. V. Kabashin, “Phase-sensitive time-modulated SPR polarimetry for wide dynamic range biosensing,” Opt. Express 15, 1745 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  43. W.-C. Law, P. Markowicz, K.-T. Yong, I. Roy, A. Baev, S. Patskovsky, A. V. Kabashin, H. P. Ho, and P. N. Prasad, “Wide dynamic range phase-sensitive surface plasmon resonance biosensor based on measuring the modulation harmonics,” Biosens. Bioelectron. 23(5), 627–632 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  44. S. Patskovsky, R. Jacquemart, M. Meunier, G. De Crescenzo, and A. V. Kabashin, “Phase-sensitive spatially-modulated SPR Polarimetry for Detection of Biomolecular Interactions,” Sens. Actuators B Chem. 133, 628–631 (2008). [CrossRef]
  45. S. Patskovsky, M. Maisonneuve, M. Meunier, and A. V. Kabashin, “Mechanical modulation method for ultrasensitive phase measurements in photonics biosensing,” Opt. Express 16(26), 21305–21314 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  46. C. E. Stewart, I. R. Hooper, and J. R. Sambles, “Surface plasmon differential ellipsometry of aqueous solutions for bio-chemical sensing,” J. Phys. D Appl. Phys. 41(10), 105408–105415 (2008). [CrossRef]
  47. W. Yuan, H. P. Ho, S. Y. Wu, Y. K. Suen, S. K. Kong c, H. P Ho, S. Y Wu, Y. K Suen, and S. K Kong,“Polarization-sensitive surface plasmon enhanced ellipsometry biosensor using the photoelastic modulation technique,” Sens. Actuators A Phys. 151(1), 23–28 (2009). [CrossRef]
  48. C. M. Wu, Z. C. Jian, S. F. Joe, and L. B. Chang, “High-sensitivity sensor based on surface Plasmon resonance and heterodyne interferometry,” Sens. Actuators B Chem. 92(1-2), 133–136 (2003). [CrossRef]
  49. W. C. Kuo, C. Chou, and H. T. Wu, “Optical heterodyne surface-plasmon resonance biosensor,” Opt. Lett. 28(15), 1329–1331 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  50. C.-M. Wu and M.-C. Pao, “Sensitivity-tunable optical sensors based on surface plasmon resonance and phase detection,” Opt. Express 12(15), 3509–3514 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  51. C. Chou, H.-T. Wu, Y.-C. Huang, W. C. Kuo, and Y. L. Chen, “Characteristics of a paired surface plasma waves biosensor,” Opt. Express 14(10), 4307–4315 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  52. Y.-C. Li, Y.-F. Chang, L.-C. Su, and C. Chou, “Differential-phase surface plasmon resonance biosensor,” Anal. Chem. 80(14), 5590–5595 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  53. S. Patskovsky, M. Meunier, and A. V. Kabashin, “Surface plasmon resonance polarizator for biosensing and imaging,” Opt. Commun. 281(21), 5492–5496 (2008). [CrossRef]
  54. A. V. Kabashin, V. E. Kochergin, A. A. Beloglazov, and P. I. Nikitin, “Phase-polarization contrast for SPR biosensors,” Biosens. Bioelectron. 13, 1263–1269 (1998). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  55. J. Homola and S. S. Yee, “Novel polarization control scheme for spectral surface plasmon resonance sensors,” Sens. Actuators B Chem. 51(1-3), 331–339 (1998). [CrossRef]
  56. A. V. Kabashin, V. E. Kochergin, and P. I. Nikitin, “Surface plasmon resonance bio- and chemical sensors with phase-polarisation contrast,” Sens. Actuators B Chem. 54(1-2), 51–56 (1999). [CrossRef]
  57. M. Piliarik, H. Vaisocherová, and J. Homola, “A new surface plasmon resonance sensor for high-throughput screening applications,” Biosens. Bioelectron. 20(10), 2104–2110 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  58. B. Ran and S. G. Lipson, “Comparison between sensitivities of phase and intensity detection in surface plasmon resonance,” Opt. Express 14(12), 5641–5650 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  59. H. Raether, Surface Plasmons on Smooth and Rough Surfaces and on Gratings, (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1988).
  60. http://www.capovani.com/dp/cat/107/63160/iinfo.cfm?LCl=986&TVTID=0&TItemNo=0&ItemNo=422&q=2
  61. A. Waksberg and J. Wood, “Noise power spectrum characteristics for an HeNe laser operating under various discharge conditions,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 40(10), 1306–1313 (1969). [CrossRef]
  62. K. G. Baigent, D. A. Shaddock, M. B. Gray, and D. E. McClelland, “Laser stabilisation for the measurement of thermal Noise,” Gen. Relativ. Gravit. 32(3), 399–409 (2000). [CrossRef]
  63. G. Keiser, Optical Communications Essentials, (McGraw-Hill, 2003).
  64. J. M. Liu, Photonic devices, (University press, Cambridge, 2005).
  65. M. W. Wang, F. H. Tsai, and Y. F. Chao, “In situ calibration technique for photoelastic modulator in ellipsometry,” Thin Solid Films 455–456, 78–83 (2004). [CrossRef]
  66. www.luxpop.com
  67. www.bioptics.com

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