Plasmonic sensors exploiting the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) of noble metal nanoparticles are common in the visual spectrum. However, bio-sensors near the infra-red (NIR) windows (600–900 nm and 1000–1400 nm) are of interest, as in these regions the absorption coefficients of water, melanin deoxyglobin, and hemoglobin are all low. The first part of this paper reviews the work that has been undertaken using gold (Au) and silver (Ag) particles in metal enhanced fluorescence (MEF) in the NIR. Despite this success, there are limitations, as there is only a narrow band in the visual and NIR where losses are low for traditional plasmonic materials. Further, noble metals are not compatible with standard silicon manufacturing processes, making it challenging to produce on-chip integrated plasmonic sensors with Au or Ag. Therefore, it is desirable to use different materials for plasmonic chemical and biological sensing, that are foundry-compatible with silicon (Si) and germanium (Ge). One material that has received significant attention is highly-doped Ge, which starts to exhibit metallic properties at a wavelength as short as 6 μm. This is discussed in the second part of the paper and the results of recent analysis are included.
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