A dual-channel fiber-optic sensor based on surface plasmon resonance (SPR) for self-referencing refractive-index measurements has been proposed. Most applications of fiber-optic SPR sensors are designed to measure the refractive index of a liquid or gas sample by measuring the signal from a single surface, the sensitivity and stability of which is easily affected by the fluctuation of external environmental conditions. We have designed a dual-channel fiber-optic surface sensor with two independent SPR signals from two areas of the same probe. A prototype sensor was fabricated and characterized. The preliminary experimental results demonstrate the characteristic responses of both SPR signals from two channels that independently correspond to the refractive index changes in the liquid samples with which they are in contact. The design could be extended to a multichannel sensor with further developments. The experimental results confirmed that one channel can be used as a reference sensor that could compensate for unexpected changes in bulk refraction or temperature and develop this sensor as a practicable high-sensitivity biosensing device.
© 2005 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article