We present a novel method to prepare optimized metal coatings for infrared Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) sensors by electroless plating. We show that Tilted Fiber Bragg grating sensors can be used to monitor in real-time the growth of gold nano-films up to 70 nm in thickness and to stop the deposition of the gold at a thickness that maximizes the SPR (near 55 nm for sensors operating in the near infrared at wavelengths around 1550 nm). The deposited films are highly uniform around the fiber circumference and in spite of some nanoscale roughness (RMS surface roughness of 5.17 nm) the underlying gratings show high quality SPR responses in water.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.19.018742
Journal Optics Express
Caucheteur, C. (C.), Ianoul, A.I, Albert, J, N.U. Ahamed (Nur Uddin), & Bialiayeu, A. (2011). Self-optimized metal coatings for fiber plasmonics by electroless deposition. Optics Express, 19(20), 18742–18753. doi:10.1364/OE.19.018742