The surface plasmon resonance (SPR) performance of gold coated tilted fiber Bragg gratings (TFBG) at near infrared wavelengths is evaluated as a function of the angle between the tilt plane orientation and the direction of single- and double-sided, nominally 50 nm-thick gold metal depositions. Scanning electron microscope images show that the coating are highly non-uniform around the fiber circumference, varying between near zero and 50 nm. In spite of these variations, the experimental results show that the spectral signature of the TFBG-SPR sensors is similar to that of simulations based on perfectly uniform coatings, provided that the depositions are suitably oriented along the tilt plane direction. Furthermore, it is shown that even a (properly oriented) single-sided coating (over only half of the fiber circumference) is sufficient to provide a theoretically perfect SPR response with a bandwidth under 5 nm, and 90% attenuation. Finally, using a pair of adjacent TFBG resonances within the SPR response envelope, a power detection scheme is used to demonstrate a limit of detection of 3 × 10-6 refractive index units.

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Journal Optics Express
Feng, D. (Dingyi), Zhou, W, Qiao, X. (Xueguang), & Albert, J. (2016). High resolution fiber optic surface plasmon resonance sensors with single-sided gold coatings. Optics Express, 24(15), 16456–16464. doi:10.1364/OE.24.016456