Abstract

A systematic study of Bloch surface wave (BSW) properties and applications in diffraction-based biosensors is presented. The design of such devices starts with the calculation of the BSW dispersion relation for a semi-infinite one-dimensional photonic crystal. We propose an approach in which polarization and 1DPC termination effects are simply described. Since in a realistic device the number of periods is limited, we investigate the issues arising from finite size effects and the choice of a structure substrate. Diffraction efficiency is studied as a function index contrast, multilayer termination, grating thickness, and number of periods. Numerical examples for SiSiO2 and a-Si1xNx:H periodic dielectric stacks are presented, showing that BSW can be exploited for the realization of efficient diffraction-based biosensors from the infrared to the visible range.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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