Innovative Plasmonic Sensor Design: A Leap Forward in Temperature Sensing Applications

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Dr. Jessica Nelson
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Innovative Plasmonic Sensor Design: A Leap Forward in Temperature Sensing Applications

Unveiling the New Plasmonic Sensor Design

A revolutionary design for a plasmonic sensor is creating waves in the field of temperature-sensing applications. The sensor banks on a Metal Insulator Metal (MIM) waveguide, filled with a responsive thermo-optic polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) polymer. PDMS, renowned for its ultra-sensitive response to temperature variations, fuels the sensor's efficiency and precision. The integration of orthogonal couplers at the input and output interfaces of the MIM waveguide further distinguishes this design, making it a promising solution for temperature-sensing applications.

Addressing Momentum Mismatch Issues

The design effectively resolves the momentum mismatch issue, eliminating the need for additional tapering. This is a crucial factor in achieving high-efficiency light coupling in compact, plasmonic-based systems. The sensor employs gold (Au) and air to assemble the critical components of the MIM waveguide, integrating orthogonal couplers constructed from silicon ridge waveguides. This ensures robust support for the fundamental mode within a significant portion of the optical spectrum.

Comparative Performance Evaluation

The efficacy of this design has been evaluated through simulations. By comparing the effectiveness of the orthogonal couplers with the Butt-coupling configuration, the findings emphasize the superiority of the orthogonal couplers in achieving optimal transmission performance.

Broader Applications of Plasmonic Sensors

Plasmonic sensors are not just confined to temperature sensing. They have been successfully utilized for optical sensing applications, particularly for early anemia detection. The Metal Insulator Metal waveguide-based plasmonic nanosensor exhibits multi Fano resonance, a characteristic that enhances its sensitivity and quick response times. These sensors have also been compared favorably with other reported sensors for glucose sensing and haemoglobin detection.

Terahertz (THz) Sensors and Plasmonic Waveguides

Terahertz (THz) sensors, another remarkable innovation, have been used for a variety of applications including biosensing, chemical sensing, disease detection, and strain sensing. However, the weak interaction between analytes and THz waves necessitates extremely sensitive and specialized biosensing techniques for accurate detection. Here, structures like plasmonic gratings, Fano resonators, and plasmonic waveguides have proven valuable. THz technology holds great potential for non-destructive, non-ionizing, and strong penetration biochemical sensing.

Plasmonic Sensors in High Humidity Environments

A nanoplasmonic hydrogen sensor, designed for operation at elevated temperatures, has shown excellent performance in high humidity conditions. With the help of neural network data treatment, these sensors have exceeded the US Department of Energy performance target and exhibit no signs of performance loss even after 140 hours of continuous operation. This highlights the potential of plasmonic hydrogen sensors in challenging environments.

Customized Metasurfaces for Optical Sensing

Merely scratching the surface of possibilities, researchers are also working on customized metasurfaces for controlling optical responses in photonic and optoelectronic devices. A plasmonic sensor using a hybrid multilayer grating can generate a plasmonic resonance on top of a thin-film solar cell, enhancing its optoelectronic response over a narrow spectral band. This sensor is highly sensitive and suitable for detecting tiny changes in gas media, making it an important tool for monitoring air quality and gas composition in closed atmospheres.