Abstract

The characteristics of a novel magneto-optic surface-plasmon-resonance (MOSPR) sensor and its use for the detection of biomolecules are presented. This physical transduction principle is based on the combination of the magneto-optic activity of magnetic materials and a surface-plasmon resonance of metallic layers. Such a combination can produce a sharp enhancement of the magneto-optic effects that strongly depends on the optical properties of the surrounding medium, allowing its use for biosensing applications. Experimental characterizations of the MOSPR sensor have shown an increase in the limit of detection by a factor of 3 in changes of refractive index and in the adsorption of biomolecules compared with standard sensors. Optimization of the metallic layers and the experimental setup could result in an improvement of the limit of detection by as much as 1 order of magnitude.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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