Experimental demonstration of high sensitivity refractive index sensing based on magnetic plasmons in a simple metallic deep nanogroove array

Li, D. M.; Kuang, X. Y.; Zhang, H.; Liang, Y. Z.; Xu, Ting; Qing, L. Y.; Zhu, Y. H.; Zhang, S.; Wang, Wenxin; Wang, W.

A high-performance wide-angle refractive index sensor based on a simple one-dimensional (1D) metallic deep nanogroove array with a high aspect ratio is experimentally fabricated and demonstrated. The 1D deep groove array is featured by the excitation of magnetic plasmon (MP), referring to an effective coupling of incident electromagnetic waves with a strong magnetic response induced inside the deep grooves. Utilizing the MP resonances that are extremely sensitive to the surrounding dielectric medium, we successfully achieve a refractive index sensitivity (RIS) up to ∼1300 nm/RIU, which is higher than that of most experimentally designed plasmonic sensors in the infrared region. Importantly, benefiting from angle-independent MP resonances with strong confinement of the magnetic field inside the deep grooves and strong electric field localization at the groove openings, we demonstrate wide-angle sensing capability valid in a broadband infrared region with an excellent linear dependence on the change of refractive index. Such a MP-based sensor, together with its simple 1D flat nature and ease of fabrication, has great potential for the practical design of high sensitive, cost-effective and compact sensing devices.


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