Abstract

A novel optical sensor based on spectroscopic measurement of the plasmon absorption of a colloidal gold submonolayer immobilized upon a planar waveguide has been developed for label-free detection of biomolecular interactions at the sensor’s surface. We fabricated the sensor by locally modifying a 50-μm-thick glass plate with hemoglobin (Hb) and then self-assembling gold colloids from the aqueous solution onto the Hb-modified area of the glass plate. Polychromatic light from a xenon-arc lamp was launched into the thin-film glass plate by use of a broadband fiber-coupling method. With the use of a CCD detector to monitor the light beam emitted from an end face of the glass plate, the plasmon absorption spectrum of the colloidal gold submonolayer was determined to depend on the polarization states of the guided light and to change with the refractive index of the medium in contact with the colloids. In addition to simplicity of fabrication and the ease of use, the sensor yields a larger absorbance sensitivity than the normal transmission measurement.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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