Adding tunability to biological light emitters offers an unprecedented technique in biological sensing and imaging. Here, we report a tunable, lithographic-free, planar, and ultrathin metal-insulator-metal (MIM) resonator capable of tuning the optical properties solely by a silk/sodium fluorescein hydrogel layer, a biocompatible light emitter. In water, the volume of the resonator was expanded by swelling, and then the resonant mode could be shifted. Simulations predicted the red-shifted resonance peak in transmission when the MIM was swollen in water. The red-shift could be attributed to the increase in the thickness of the silk hydrogel layer due to the absorbed water. The shift of the resonance could affect the fluorescence of the dye in the silk hydrogel layer.

© 2019 Optical Society of Korea

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