, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 347–354 | Cite as

Theoretical Investigation of an Interferometer-type Plasmonic Biosensor Using a Metal-insulator-silicon Waveguide

  • Min-Suk KwonEmail author


This work proposes and investigates theoretically a biosensor that is an integrated plasmonic Mach–Zehnder interferometer. The biosensor consists of three sections. The first and third sections are input and output dielectric waveguides whose core is a silicon film. The second section is a combination of a surface plasmon polariton waveguide and a metal-insulator-silicon waveguide, which are separated by a thick gold film. The former and the latter function as sensing and reference arms, respectively. The latter supports a mode whose fields are highly enhanced in a thin insulator, silicon nitride film, and it has relatively small propagation loss. It is shown that the biosensor has insertion loss lower than 2 dB, and that it is very compact since the length of its second section for sensing is shorter than 6 μm. In addition, it is discussed that it can be easily implemented by using simple fabrication processes. Analyzed are the characteristics of sensing a refractive index change of liquid covering the biosensor. Despite its compactness, they are similar to those of previous surface plasmon interferometers. Also, its characteristics as a DNA sensor are analyzed. The analysis demonstrates that the biosensor can detect sensitively target single-stranded DNAs whose total weight is smaller than 10 fg.


Surface plasmon polariton Biosensor Interferometer Hybrid plasmonic waveguide Integrated plasmonics 



This work was supported by National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (KRF-2008-313-D00725).


  1. 1.
    Homola J, Yee SS, Gauglitz G (1999) Surface plasmon resonance sensors: review. Sens Actuators B 54:3–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Shankaran DR, Gobi KV, Miura N (2007) Recent advancements in surface plasmon resonance immunosensors for detection of small molecules of biomedical, food and environment interest. Sens Actuators B 121:158–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Schasfoort RBM, McWhirter A (2008) In Schasfoort RBM, Tudos AJ (Ed) SPR Instrumentation, RSC, Cambridge, pp 35–80Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hoa XD, Kirk AG, Tabrizian M (2007) Towards integrated and sensitive surface plasmon resonance biosensors: a review of recent progress. Biosens Bioelectron 23:151–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ctyroky J et al (1999) Theory and modeling of optical waveguide sensors utilizing surface plasmon resonance. Sens Actuators B 54:66–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dostalek J et al (2001) Surface plasmon resonance biosensor based on integrated optical waveguide. Sens Actuators B 76:8–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Chu Y-S et al (2006) Surface plasmon resonance sensors using silica-on-silicon optical waveguides. Microwave Opt Technol Lett 48(5):955–957CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Charbonneau R et al (2008) Demonstration of surface sensing using long-range surface plasmon waveguides on silica. Sens Actuators B 134:455–461CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Joo YH, Song SH, Magnusson R (2009) Long-range surface plasmon-polariton waveguide sensors with a Bragg grating in the asymmetric double-electrode structure. Opt Express 17:10606–10611CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Debackere P et al (2006) Surface plasmon interferometer in silicon-on-insulator: novel concept for an integrated biosensor. Opt Express 14:7063–7072CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Debackere P, Baets R, Bienstman P (2009) Bulk sensing experiments using a surface-plasmon interferometer. Opt Lett 34(18):2858–2860CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    SU-8 is the name of the negative photoresists produced by MicroChem Corp. (, whose refractive index is assumed to be 1.57 in this paper
  13. 13.
    Feng N-N, Negro LD (2007) Plasmon mode transformation in modulated-index metal-dielectric slot waveguides, Opt Lett 32(21):3086–3088CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Oulton RF et al (2008) A hybrid plasmonic waveguide for subwavelength confinement and long-range propagation. Nature Photon 2:496–500CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Dai D, He S (2009) A silicon-based hybrid plasmonic waveguide with a metal cap for a nano-scale light confinement, Opt Express 17:16646–16653CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Avrutsky I, Soref R, Buchwald W (2010) Sub-wavelength plasmonic modes in a conductor-gap-dielectric system with a nanoscale gap. Opt Express 18:348–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kwon M-S (2009) A numerically stable analysis method for complex multilayer waveguides based on modified transfer-matrix equations. J Lightwave Technol 27(20):4407–4414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Rodrigo SG, Garcia-Vidal FJ, Martin-Moreno L (2008) Influence of material properties on extraordinary optical transmission through hole arrays. Phys Rev B 77:075401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Snyder AW, Love JD (1983) Optical waveguide theory, Kluwer Academic pp 212–214Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Gaal SB, Hoekstra HJWM, Lambeck PV (2003) Determining PML modes in 2-D stratified media. J Lightwave Technol 21(1):293–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Mandal S, Erickson D (2008) Nanoscale optofluidic sensor arrays. Opt Express 16:1623–1631CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Elhadj S, Singh G, Saraf RF (2004) Optical properties of an immobilized DNA monolayer from 255 to 700 nm. Langmuir 20:5539–5543CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Optical EngineeringSejong UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

Personalised recommendations