Investigation of graphene-on-metal substrates for SPR-based sensor using finite-difference time domain

Publication year: 2017
Authors: Said F. A. 1, Menon P. S. 1, Rajendran V. 2, Shaari S. 1, Majlis B. Y. 1

1 - Institute of Microengineering and Nanoelectronics (IMEN), National University of Malaysia (UKM), 43600 UKM Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
2 - Centre for Nano Science and Technology, K. S. Rangasamy College of Technology, K. S. R. Kalvi Nagar 637 215, Tamil Nadu, India

Published in: IET Nanobiotechnology, 2017, Vol. 11, Issue 8, p. 981 – 986
doi: 10.1049/iet-nbt.2017.0051

In this study, the authors investigated the effects of a single layer graphene as a coating layer on top of metal thin films such as silver, gold, aluminum and copper using finite-difference time domain method. To enhance the resolution of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensor, it is necessary to increase the SPR reflectivity and decrease the full-width-half maximum (FWHM) of the SPR curve so that there is minimum uncertainty in the determination of the resonance dip. Numerical data was verified with analytical and experimental data where all the data were in good agreement with resonance angle differing in <;10% due to noise present in components such as humidity and temperature. In further analysis, reflectivity and FWHM were compared among four types of metal with various thin film thicknesses where graphene was applied on top of the metal layers, and data was compared against pure conventional metal thin films. A 60 nm-thick Au thin film results in higher performance with reflectivity of 92.4% and FWHM of 0.88° whereas single layer graphene-on-60 nm-thick Au gave reflectivity of 91.7% and FWHM of 1.32°. However, a graphene-on-40 nm-thick Ag also gave good performance with narrower FWHM of 0.88° and reflection spectra of 89.2%.

MP-SPR keywords: finite-difference time domain (FDTD) simulations, gold surface optical properties, modelling of SPR curves