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Plasmonic Optical Fiber Sensors: Technology and Applications

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Optical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 November 2023) | Viewed by 17224

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
i3N, Department of Physics, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
Interests: optical fiber sensors; biosensors; optical biosensors; physiological monitoring; fiber bragg gratings; optical fibers technology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Engineering, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Via Roma 29, 81031 Aversa, Italy
Interests: optical sensors; biosensors and chemical sensors; optical fiber sensors and optoelectronic devices
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
1. School of Engineering and Digital Sciences, Nazarbayev University, 010000 Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan
2. National Laboratory Astana, Laboratory of Biosensors and Bioinstruments, 010000 Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan
Interests: optical fiber sensors; optical biosensors; distributed sensors; bioengineering
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, optical fibers have been replacing the prism substrates for surface plasmonic resonance (SPR), either using continuous metallic coatings or nanoparticles, such as for localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR). Plasmonic optical fiber sensors (PFOSs) are applied in a broad range of fields, from biomedical diagnosis to environmental safety, and are used to monitor different chemical and physical quantities, such as the concentration of biomolecules and chemicals, and for sensing force, pressure, and temperature.

PFOSs are promising and powerful optical chemical and biochemical detection techniques, allowing the monitoring of label-free biomolecular interactions in real time due to the technology’s fast response, high sensitivity, and ability to achieve ultra-low limits of detection. Different materials and alloys have also been investigated for plasmonic effect enhancement along with new interrogation techniques dedicated to increasing resolution and sensitivity. As the application fields of PFOS technology have grown enormously, this Special Issue is devoted to the most recent developments in the area, including sensing fundamentals, design, coating materials, innovative interrogation techniques and data processing, and practical implementation (e.g., biomedical applications, environmental evaluation, and food analysis).

Dr. Cátia Leitão
Dr. Nunzio Cennamo
Dr. Daniele Tosi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • optical fiber biosensing
  • plasmonic sensors
  • plasmonic sensors interrogation
  • optical fiber plasmonics
  • SPR
  • LSPR

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 5239 KiB  
Article
Polymer Doping as a Novel Approach to Improve the Performance of Plasmonic Plastic Optical Fibers Sensors
by Rosalba Pitruzzella, Riccardo Rovida, Chiara Perri, Alessandro Chiodi, Francesco Arcadio, Nunzio Cennamo, Laura Pasquardini, Lia Vanzetti, Michele Fedrizzi, Luigi Zeni and Girolamo D’Agostino
Sensors 2023, 23(12), 5548; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23125548 - 13 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1128
Abstract
In this work, Fe2O3 was investigated as a doping agent for poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) in order to enhance the plasmonic effect in sensors based on D-shaped plastic optical fibers (POFs). The doping procedure consists of immerging a premanufactured POF [...] Read more.
In this work, Fe2O3 was investigated as a doping agent for poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) in order to enhance the plasmonic effect in sensors based on D-shaped plastic optical fibers (POFs). The doping procedure consists of immerging a premanufactured POF sensor chip in an iron (III) solution, avoiding repolymerization and its related disadvantages. After treatment, a sputtering process was used to deposit a gold nanofilm on the doped PMMA in order to obtain the surface plasmon resonance (SPR). More specifically, the doping procedure increases the refractive index of the POF’s PMMA in contact with the gold nanofilm, improving the SPR phenomena. The doping of the PMMA was characterized by different analyses in order to determine the effectiveness of the doping procedure. Moreover, experimental results obtained by exploiting different water–glycerin solutions have been used to test the different SPR responses. The achieved bulk sensitivities confirmed the improvement of the plasmonic phenomenon with respect to a similar sensor configuration based on a not-doped PMMA SPR-POF chip. Finally, doped and non-doped SPR-POF platforms were functionalized with a molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP), specific for the bovine serum albumin (BSA) detection, to obtain dose-response curves. These experimental results confirmed an increase in binding sensitivity for the doped PMMA sensor. Therefore, a lower limit of detection (LOD), equal to 0.04 μM, has been obtained in the case of the doped PMMA sensor when compared to the one calculated for the not-doped sensor configuration equal to about 0.09 μM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasmonic Optical Fiber Sensors: Technology and Applications)
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15 pages, 1189 KiB  
Article
Plasmonic Sensors beyond the Phase Matching Condition: A Simplified Approach
by Alessandro Tuniz, Alex Y. Song, Giuseppe Della Valle and C. Martijn de Sterke
Sensors 2022, 22(24), 9994; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22249994 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1994
Abstract
The conventional approach to optimising plasmonic sensors is typically based entirely on ensuring phase matching between the excitation wave and the surface plasmon supported by the metallic structure. However, this leads to suboptimal performance, even in the simplest sensor configuration based on the [...] Read more.
The conventional approach to optimising plasmonic sensors is typically based entirely on ensuring phase matching between the excitation wave and the surface plasmon supported by the metallic structure. However, this leads to suboptimal performance, even in the simplest sensor configuration based on the Otto geometry. We present a simplified coupled mode theory approach for evaluating and optimizing the sensing properties of plasmonic waveguide refractive index sensors. It only requires the calculation of propagation constants, without the need for calculating mode overlap integrals. We apply our method by evaluating the wavelength-, device length- and refractive index-dependent transmission spectra for an example silicon-on-insulator-based sensor of finite length. This reveals all salient spectral features which are consistent with full-field finite element calculations. This work provides a rapid and convenient framework for designing dielectric-plasmonic sensor prototypes—its applicability to the case of fibre plasmonic sensors is also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasmonic Optical Fiber Sensors: Technology and Applications)
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8 pages, 1586 KiB  
Article
Exploiting Plasmonic Phenomena in Polymer Optical Fibers to Realize a Force Sensor
by Francesco Arcadio, Luigi Zeni and Nunzio Cennamo
Sensors 2022, 22(6), 2391; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22062391 - 20 Mar 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1960
Abstract
In this work, a novel sensing approach to realize a force optical fiber sensor is designed, developed, and experimentally tested. The proposed sensing methodology exploits the effects of deformation due to an applied force on a patch of plastic optical fiber (POF) connected [...] Read more.
In this work, a novel sensing approach to realize a force optical fiber sensor is designed, developed, and experimentally tested. The proposed sensing methodology exploits the effects of deformation due to an applied force on a patch of plastic optical fiber (POF) connected at the input of a surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensor realized in a D-shaped POF. Therefore, the proposed force sensor system consists of an SPR D-shaped POF sensor, connected to a spectrometer, within input of a POF patch, connected to a light source used for interacting with the applied force. When the applied force on the patch changes, the mode profile of the light in the multimode POF patch and the SPR-POF sensor change too, so the SPR spectra shift. The obtained experimental results demonstrate that the proposed sensor has a resolution of the force sensor equal to about 22 mN and an excellent linear response in the range from 0 N to 0.5 N. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasmonic Optical Fiber Sensors: Technology and Applications)
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14 pages, 2700 KiB  
Article
Relevance of the Spectral Analysis Method of Tilted Fiber Bragg Grating-Based Biosensors: A Case-Study for Heart Failure Monitoring
by Miguel Vidal, Maria Simone Soares, Médéric Loyez, Florinda M. Costa, Christophe Caucheteur, Carlos Marques, Sónia O. Pereira and Cátia Leitão
Sensors 2022, 22(6), 2141; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22062141 - 10 Mar 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2097
Abstract
Optical fiber technology has rapidly progressed over the years, providing valuable benefits for biosensing purposes such as sensor miniaturization and the possibility for remote and real-time monitoring. In particular, tilted fiber Bragg gratings (TFBGs) are extremely sensitive to refractive index variations taking place [...] Read more.
Optical fiber technology has rapidly progressed over the years, providing valuable benefits for biosensing purposes such as sensor miniaturization and the possibility for remote and real-time monitoring. In particular, tilted fiber Bragg gratings (TFBGs) are extremely sensitive to refractive index variations taking place on their surface. The present work comprises a case-study on the impact of different methods of analysis applied to decode spectral variations of bare and plasmonic TFBGs during the detection of N-terminal B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), a heart failure biomarker, namely by following the most sensitive mode, peaks of the spectral envelopes, and the envelopes’ crossing point and area. Tracking the lower envelope resulted in the lowest limits of detection (LOD) for bare and plasmonic TFBGs, namely, 0.75 ng/mL and 0.19 ng/mL, respectively. This work demonstrates the importance of the analysis method on the outcome results, which is crucial to attain the most reliable and sensitive method with lower LOD sensors. Furthermore, it makes the scientific community aware to take careful attention when comparing the performance of different biosensors in which different analysis methods were used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasmonic Optical Fiber Sensors: Technology and Applications)
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10 pages, 2953 KiB  
Communication
The Role of Tapered Light-Diffusing Fibers in Plasmonic Sensor Configurations
by Nunzio Cennamo, Francesco Arcadio, Luigi Zeni, Ester Catalano, Domenico Del Prete, Gionatan Buonanno and Aldo Minardo
Sensors 2021, 21(19), 6333; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21196333 - 22 Sep 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1890
Abstract
In this work, we experimentally analyzed the effect of tapering in light-diffusing optical fibers (LDFs) when employed as surface plasmon resonance (SPR)-based sensors. Although tapering is commonly adopted to enhance the performance of plasmonic optical fiber sensors, we have demonstrated that in the [...] Read more.
In this work, we experimentally analyzed the effect of tapering in light-diffusing optical fibers (LDFs) when employed as surface plasmon resonance (SPR)-based sensors. Although tapering is commonly adopted to enhance the performance of plasmonic optical fiber sensors, we have demonstrated that in the case of plasmonic sensors based on LDFs, the tapering produces a significant worsening of the bulk sensitivity (roughly 60% in the worst case), against a slight decrease in the full width at half maximum (FWHM) of the SPR spectra. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that these aspects become more pronounced when the taper ratio increases. Secondly, we have established that a possible alternative exists in using the tapered LDF as a modal filter after the sensible region. In such a case, we have determined that a good trade-off between the loss in sensitivity and the FWHM decrease could be reached. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasmonic Optical Fiber Sensors: Technology and Applications)
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10 pages, 1879 KiB  
Communication
A Magnetic Field SPR Sensor Based on Temperature Self-Reference
by Xinwei Mo, Jiangtao Lv, Qiang Liu, Xiaoxiao Jiang and Guangyuan Si
Sensors 2021, 21(18), 6130; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21186130 - 13 Sep 2021
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 2373
Abstract
In this paper, a novel D-shaped photonic crystal fiber sensor for simultaneous measurements of magnetic field and temperature is proposed and characterized. Based on the surface plasmon resonance theory, the D-shaped flat surface coated with a gold layer is in direct contact with [...] Read more.
In this paper, a novel D-shaped photonic crystal fiber sensor for simultaneous measurements of magnetic field and temperature is proposed and characterized. Based on the surface plasmon resonance theory, the D-shaped flat surface coated with a gold layer is in direct contact with magnetic fluid to detect magnetic field, and one of the relatively small air holes near the fiber core is filled with polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) to sense temperature. The realization of measuring the magnetic field and temperature separately through two channels depends on the fact that the magnetic field only changes the refractive index of the magnetic fluid, but has no effect on the refractive index of PDMS. The refractive index of the magnetic fluid and PDMS can be affected by temperature at the same time. The sensor designed in this work can separate the variations of the magnetic field and temperature simultaneously, therefore solving the cross-sensitivity problem to further improve the magnetic field sensitivity. When the thickness of the gold film is 50 nm and the radius of the filling hole is 0.52 µm, the magnetic field sensitivity and the temperature sensitivity of magnetic field sensor based on temperature self-reference can reach 0.14274 nm/Oe and −0.229 nm/°C, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasmonic Optical Fiber Sensors: Technology and Applications)
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12 pages, 2222 KiB  
Article
Shallow-Tapered Chirped Fiber Bragg Grating Sensors for Dual Refractive Index and Temperature Sensing
by Takhmina Ayupova, Madina Shaimerdenova and Daniele Tosi
Sensors 2021, 21(11), 3635; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21113635 - 24 May 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 4072
Abstract
In this work, we present a gold-coated shallow-tapered chirped fiber Bragg grating (stCFBG) for dual refractive index (RI) and temperature sensing. The stCFBG has been fabricated on a 15-mm long chirped FBG, by tapering a 7.29-mm region with a waist of 39 μm. [...] Read more.
In this work, we present a gold-coated shallow-tapered chirped fiber Bragg grating (stCFBG) for dual refractive index (RI) and temperature sensing. The stCFBG has been fabricated on a 15-mm long chirped FBG, by tapering a 7.29-mm region with a waist of 39 μm. The spectral analysis shows two distinct regions: a pre-taper region, in which the stCFBG is RI-independent and can be used to detect thermal changes, and a post-taper region, in which the reflectivity increases significantly when the RI increments. We estimate the RI and thermal sensitivities as 382.83 dB/RIU and 9.893 pm/°C, respectively. The cross-talk values are low (−1.54 × 10−3 dB/°C and 568.1 pm/RIU), which allows an almost ideal separation between RI and thermal characteristics. The stCFBG is a compact probe, suitable for long-term and temperature-compensated biosensing and detection of chemical analytes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasmonic Optical Fiber Sensors: Technology and Applications)
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