Abstract

A type of hollow gold nanoparticle (HGNP)-modified fiber optic long-range surface plasmon resonance (LRSPR) sensor with sensing self-reference is proposed and demonstrated. HGNPs have a stronger plasmonic field compared to solid GNPs because of the coupling between the inner and outer walls of HGNPs. The intense near-field electronic coupling between long-range surface plasmon polaritons associated with the LRSPR gold layer and localized surface plasmon polaritons of HGNPs leads to localized electromagnetic-field enhancement and LRSPR response signal amplification. Therefore, the HGNP-modified LRSPR sensor possesses a more excellent sensing property compared with the unmodified LRSPR sensor. The long-range resonance dip in the transmission spectrum is shown to shift in response to ambient refractivity change, and the characteristic absorption peak is fixed, allowing to regard it as a reference to improve detection accuracy of the sensors. The mode-field distribution of the sensors is simulated by using the finite element method, and the simulation results show that the electric-field intensity on the HGNP surface is significantly enhanced compared with that of the gold layer surface of the unmodified LRSPR sensor. 1874.79 nm/RIU improvement in sensitivity, 1.42 times improvement in figure of merit (FOM), and approximately 50% reduction in limit of detection (LOD) are achieved for the refractivity measurement of a low-concentration biological solution with the employment of HGNPs in LRSPR sensing experiments. The HGNP-modified LRSPR sensor proposed in this paper has high detection accuracy and FOM and low LOD, and can realize remote real-time online monitoring. Therefore, it has important research value and broad application prospects in the field of biochemical detection.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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