Degeneracy breaking of Wood's anomaly for enhanced refractive index sensing

Michal Eitan, Zeev Iluz, Yuval Yifat, Amir Boag, Yael Hanein, Jacob Scheuer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


We introduce an ultrasensitive detection technique for refractive index (RI) sensing based on an array of nanometer scale slot-antennas milled in a thin gold layer using a single lithographic step. Our experimental figures of merit (FOMs) of 140-210 in the telecom wavelength range approach the fundamental limit for standard propagating SPR sensors (250).The underlying mechanism enabling this is the combination of a narrowband resonance of the slot-antennas with degeneracy breaking of Wood's anomaly under slightly nonperpendicular illumination. In addition, we explore the sensitivity of the device to the depth of the analyte layer. This concept can be easily tuned to any desired wavelength and RI range by modifying the slot dimensions and the array spacing, thus rendering it highly useful for numerous sensing applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-621
Number of pages7
JournalACS Photonics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 20 May 2015


  • Wood's anomaly
  • figure of merit (FOM)
  • nanoantennas
  • refractive index sensing
  • surface plasmon resonance


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