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Front. Chem. | doi: 10.3389/fchem.2019.00593

One Spot – Two Sensors: Porous Silicon Interferometers in Combination with Gold Nanostructures showing Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance

  • 1University of Potsdam, Germany

Sensors composed of a porous silicon monolayer covered with gold nanoparticles, which provide two optical signal transduction methods, are fabricated and thoroughly characterized concerning their sensing performance. For this purpose, silicon substrates were electrochemically etched in order to obtain porous silicon monolayers, which were subsequently immersed in gold salt solution facilitating the formation of a porous gold nanoparticle layer on top of the porous silicon. The deposition process was monitored by reflectance spectroscopy, and the appearance of a dip in the interference pattern of the porous silicon layer was observed. This dip can be assigned to the absorption of light by the deposited gold nanoparticles leading to localized surface plasmon resonance. The bulk sensitivity of these sensors was determined by recording reflectance spectra in media having different refractive indices and compared to sensors exclusively based on porous silicon or gold nanoparticles. A thorough analysis of resulting shifts of the different optical signals in the reflectance spectra on the wavelength scale indicated that the optical response of the porous silicon sensor is not influenced by the presence of a gold nanostructure on top. Moreover, the adsorption of thiol-terminated polystyrene to the sensor surface was solely detected by changes in the position of the dip in the reflectance spectrum, which is assigned to localized surface plasmon resonance in the gold nanoparticles. The interference pattern resulting from the porous silicon layer is not shifted to longer wavelengths by the adsorption indicating the independence of the optical response of the two nanostructures, namely porous silicon and gold nanoparticles, to refractive index changes and pointing to the successful realization of two sensors in one spot.

Keywords: porous silicon, Interferometry, gold nanoparticles, Surface Plasmon Resonance, optical sensor

Received: 07 Jun 2019; Accepted: 09 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Pacholski, Balderas-Valadez and Schürmann. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Claudia Pacholski, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany,