, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 127–133 | Cite as

Solution-Deposited Thin Silver Films on Plastic Surfaces for Low-Cost Applications in Plasmon-Coupled Emission Sensors

  • R. Sai Sathish
  • Y. Kostov
  • D. S. Smith
  • Govind RaoEmail author


We report the deposition of highly uniform thin silver films on plastic materials using a wet-chemistry method, suitable for surface plasmon-coupled emission (SPCE). This approach is reproducible for diverse low-cost applications and versatile to generate silver surfaces on various plastics substrates. An oxygen plasma pretreatment of the plastic provides for rapid silvering, leading to a 47-nm-thick continuous film for SPCE applications. The surface smoothness and thickness of the films have been estimated using atomic force microscope. The higher refractive index of polycarbonate, resulted in an SPCE angle of θ F = 470 for Rhodamine B, compared to glass (θ F = 500). The current study presents details on film deposition conditions, appropriate choice of index matching fluids, substrates, and light sources that play a vital role to augment SPCE emission intensity.


Surface plasmon-coupled emission Solution deposition Silver films Plastics Rhodamine B 



Surface plasmon-coupled emission






Polyvinyl alcohol


reverse Kretschmann


Surface plasmon resonance



This work was made possible by funding from the following grant award: NSF-BES 0517785. We also thank the Process Sensing Group of the Process Measurements Division of the Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology for the use of the AFM.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Sai Sathish
    • 1
  • Y. Kostov
    • 1
  • D. S. Smith
    • 2
  • Govind Rao
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Center for Advanced Sensor Technology and Department of Chemical and Biochemical EngineeringUniversity of Maryland Baltimore CountyBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Process Measurements Division, Chemical Science and Technology LaboratoryNational Institute of Standards and TechnologyGaithersburgUSA
  3. 3.Center for Advanced Sensor Technology (CAST), Technology Research Center (TRC)University of Maryland Baltimore CountyBaltimoreUSA

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