Performance limits to the operation of nanoplasmonic chemical sensors: noise-equivalent refractive index and detectivity
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We considered figures of merit for chemical and biological sensors based on plasmonic structures and utilizing adsorption/desorption mechanism. The operation of these devices in general is limited by noise determining the minimum detectable refractive-index change. We dedicated our work to the intrinsic noise mechanisms connected with the plasmonic process itself. In contrast, most of the available literature is almost exclusively dedicated to the external noise sources (illumination source and photodetector). Reviewing the refractive-index fluctuations caused by thermal, adsorption-desorption and 1/f noise, we observed a striking analogy between the qualitative behavior of noise in (nano) plasmonic devices and that in semiconductor infrared detectors. The power spectral densities for noise in both of these have an almost identical shape; the adsorption-desorption noise corresponds to generation-recombination processes in detectors, while the other two mechanisms exist in the both type...s of the devices. Thus the large and mature existing apparatus for infrared detector noise analysis may be applied to the plasmonic sensors. Based on the observed analogy, we formulated the noise-equivalent refractive-index and the specific detectivity as the figures of merit to analyze the ultimate performance of plasmon sensors. The approach is valid for conventional surface plasmon resonance sensors, but also for nanoplasmonic and metamaterial-based devices.
Keywords:photonics / plasmonics / surface-plasmon polaritons / sensors / noise / detectivity
Source:Journal of Nanophotonics, 2009, 3
- Spie-Soc Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers, Bellingham