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Engineering a Large Scale Indium Nanodot Array for Refractive Index Sensing

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journal contribution
posted on 02.11.2016, 00:00 by Xiaoqing Xu, Xiaolin Hu, Xiaoshu Chen, Yangsen Kang, Zhiping Zhang, Kokab B. Parizi, H.-S. Philip Wong
In this work, we developed a simple method to fabricate 12 × 4 mm2 large scale nanostructure arrays and investigated the feasibility of indium nanodot (ND) array with different diameters and periods for refractive index sensing. Absorption resonances at multiple wavelengths from the visible to the near-infrared range were observed for various incident angles in a variety of media. Engineering the ND array with a centered square lattice, we successfully enhanced the sensitivity by 60% and improved the figure of merit (FOM) by 190%. The evolution of the resonance dips in the reflection spectra, of square lattice and centered square lattice, from air to water, matches well with the results of Lumerical FDTD simulation. The improvement of sensitivity is due to the enhancement of local electromagnetic field (E-field) near the NDs with centered square lattice, as revealed by E-field simulation at resonance wavelengths. The E-field is enhanced due to coupling between the two square ND arrays with 2x period at phase matching. This work illustrates an effective way to engineer and fabricate a refractive index sensor at a large scale. This is the first experimental demonstration of poor-metal (indium) nanostructure array for refractive index sensing. It also demonstrates a centered square lattice for higher sensitivity and as a better basic platform for more complex sensor designs.