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Sensors 2017, 17(7), 1530; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17071530

Substrate Oxide Layer Thickness Optimization for a Dual-Width Plasmonic Grating for Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) Biosensor Applications

1
Microelectronics-Photonics Graduate Program, 731 W. Dickson St., University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, AR 72701, USA
2
Department of Physics, 825 W. Dickson St., University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, AR 72701, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 June 2017 / Revised: 22 June 2017 / Accepted: 27 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Raman Spectroscopy in Biosensors)
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Abstract

This work investigates a new design for a plasmonic SERS biosensor via computational electromagnetic models. It utilizes a dual-width plasmonic grating design, which has two different metallic widths per grating period. These types of plasmonic gratings have shown larger optical enhancement than standard single-width gratings. The new structures have additional increased enhancement when the spacing between the metal decreases to sub-10 nm dimensions. This work integrates an oxide layer to improve the enhancement even further by carefully studying the effects of the substrate oxide thickness on the enhancement and reports ideal substrate parameters. The combined effects of varying the substrate and the grating geometry are studied to fully optimize the device’s enhancement for SERS biosensing and other plasmonic applications. The work reports the ideal widths and substrate thickness for both a standard and a dual-width plasmonic grating SERS biosensor. The ideal geometry, comprising a dual-width grating structure atop an optimal SiO2 layer thickness, improves the enhancement by 800%, as compared to non-optimized structures with a single-width grating and a non-optimal oxide thickness. View Full-Text
Keywords: Raman spectroscopy; SERS; plasmonics; nano-optics; computational electromagnetics; plasmonic grating; nanogap Raman spectroscopy; SERS; plasmonics; nano-optics; computational electromagnetics; plasmonic grating; nanogap
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Bauman, S.J.; Brawley, Z.T.; Darweesh, A.A.; Herzog, J.B. Substrate Oxide Layer Thickness Optimization for a Dual-Width Plasmonic Grating for Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) Biosensor Applications. Sensors 2017, 17, 1530.

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