Optimization of dipole structures for detection of organic compounds

Henrique Vilhena, Scott G. McMeekin, A. Sheila Holmes-Smith, Nigel P. Johnson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


Metamaterials are being increasingly used as highly sensitive detection devices. The design of these structures and the ability to effect changes in response through small changes in the geometry of their constituent elements allow for the enhancement of known analysis techniques such as infrared or Raman spectroscopy. High electromagnetic fields have been shown to occur in features such as small gaps and sharp tips and these so called “hot-spots” are the main focus of recent work in Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS). Previous work has shown dipole pairs with small gaps between them to be suitable for the SERS detection of very small amounts of organic compounds. The main difficulties lie in the small dimensions (=100 nm) necessary to attain a significant response at the typical Raman pump wavelengths. Also the small size of the gaps is a challenge when it comes to prevent “bridging” between the structures during the fabrication process. In this work we show, through simulations, that carefully controlling the length of dipolar structures as well as the gap between these dipoles a resonant response can be achieved close to the pump Raman wavelengths. Also, we see that increasing the width of the dipole pair shifts the resonant peaks to longer wavelengths. By optimizing their geometry, more efficient and easier to fabricate structures can be used as environmental organic sensors.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE: Metamaterials X
EditorsVladimir Kuzmiak, Peter Markos, Tomasz Szoplik
ISBN (Print)9781628416237
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2015


  • chemical compounds
  • Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy
  • fabrication
  • metamaterials
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • sensors


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