Terahertz particle-in-liquid sensing with spoof surface plasmon polariton waveguides

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Title: Terahertz particle-in-liquid sensing with spoof surface plasmon polariton waveguides
Authors: Ma, Z
Hanham, SM
Huidobro, PA
Gong, Y
Hong, M
Klein, N
Maier, SA
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: We present a highly sensitive microfluidic sensing technique for the terahertz (THz) region of the electromagnetic spectrum based on spoof surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs). By integrating a microfluidic channel in a spoof SPP waveguide, we take advantage of these highly confined electromagnetic modes to create a platform for dielectric sensing of liquids. Our design consists of a domino waveguide, that is, a series of periodically arranged rectangular metal blocks on top of a metal surface that supports the propagation of spoof SPPs. Through numerical simulations, we demonstrate that the transmission of spoof SPPs along the waveguide is extremely sensitive to the refractive index of a liquid flowing through a microfluidic channel crossing the waveguide to give an interaction volume on the nanoliter scale. Furthermore, by taking advantage of the insensitivity of the domino waveguide’s fundamental spoof SPP mode to the lateral width of the metal blocks, we design a tapered waveguide able to achieve further confinement of the electromagnetic field. Using this approach, we demonstrate the highly sensitive detection of individual subwavelength micro-particles flowing in the liquid. These results are promising for the creation of spoof SPP based THz lab-on-a-chip microfluidic devices that are suitable for the analysis of biological liquids such as proteins and circulating tumour cells in buffer solution.
Issue Date: 1-Nov-2017
Date of Acceptance: 8-Oct-2017
ISSN: 2378-0967
Publisher: AIP Publishing LLC
Journal / Book Title: APL Photonics
Volume: 2
Issue: 11
Copyright Statement: © 2017 The Author(s). All article content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)
Funder's Grant Number: EP/M001121/1
Keywords: Science & Technology
Physical Sciences
Physics, Applied
Publication Status: Published
Open Access location:
Article Number: 116102
Online Publication Date: 2017-10-26
Appears in Collections:Condensed Matter Theory
Experimental Solid State
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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