Abstract

There is a debate on whether phase measurement in surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensors give better resolution than intensity measurement. In this work, we show that each one of the modes can give better resolution depending on the metal layer thickness chosen, as well as the available noise levels in the system. We propose a three point polarimetric approach to extract the ellipsometric parameters and phase information in the spectral mode. It is shown that the polarimetric measurement at its optimal thickness range gives up to seven-fold higher resolution than the intensity, especially at noise levels of off the shelf spectrometers. When noise levels are very low, the resolution in the two modes becomes nearly equal. The same is true when considering the whole SPR curve rather than single point detection. However, it is clearly shown both experimentally and theoretically that the polarimetric measurements at their optimal range give much better resolution than the intensity.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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