Abstract

We have investigated the effect of surface roughness on the sensitivity of conventional and nanowire-based surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensors. The theoretical research was conducted using rigorous coupled-wave analysis with Gaussian surface profiles of gold films determined by atomic force microscopy. The results suggest that, when surface roughness ranges near 1nm, the sensitivity of a conventional SPR system is not significantly affected regardless of the correlation length. For a nanowire-based SPR biosensor, however, we have found that the sensitivity degrades substantially with decreasing correlation length. In particular, at a correlation length smaller than 100nm, a random rough surface may induce destructive coupling between excited localized surface plasmons, which can lead to prominent reduction of sensitivity enhancement.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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