Study of surface plasmon resonance with zirconium oxide multilayer coatings of silver and gold films: reflection polarization modes and sensitivity


  • H. H. Sánchez Hernández Universidad del Papaloapan
  • J. M. Pérez Abarca Universidad del Papaloapan
  • E. Sánchez Soto Universidad Tecnológica de la Mixteca



Surface plasmon resonance; silver; gold; dielectric/metal/dielectric


We propose a surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensor based on multilayer films with silver (Ag) and gold (Au) interfaces coated with a thin layer of zirconium oxide (ZrO2) in Kretschmann configuration. A dielectric layer of ZrO2 acts as the prism coating and the second layer is deposited after the metal film in the dielectric/metal/dielectric (DMD) system. In order to achieve the best design for the sensor, the dependence of the sensitivity on the angle of incidence and the thickness of the alternating layer is comprehensively explored. The polarization change results are shown with the angles Ψ and ∆ which are the traditional ellipsometry measurement angles of the optical properties of the DMD system. The advantage of Ag/ZrO2 multilayers over Au and Au/ZrO2 for SPR refractive index detection in terms of sensitivity, as well as the Ag/ZrO2 interface offers the possibility of studies with promising features for SPR users to generalize this type of interface. The proposed DMD sensor is expected to find application in biochemical sensing due to its resolution.


U. Arun et al., Recent Advances in Optical Biosensors for Sensing Applications: a Review, Plasmonics 18 (2023) 735,

Q. Wang et al., Research advances on surface plasmon resonance biosensors, Nanoscale 14 (2022) 564,

P. Estrela et al., Optical biosensors, Essays Biochem. 60 (2016) 91,

V. Kodoyianni, Label-free analysis of biomolecular interactions using SPR imaging, BioTechniques 50 (2011) 32,

J. Cao et al., Comparison of Surface Plasmon Resonance and Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance-based optical fibre sensors, Journal of Physics: Conference Series 307 (2011) 012050,

C. M. and B. F., Theoretical Analysis of Multilayer Surface Plasmon Resonance Sensors Using Thin-Film Optical Admittance Formalism, Plasmonics 10 (2015) 1467,

S. S. Gaur and A. P. Singh, Theoretical analysis and optimization of sensing parameters of surface plasmon resonance sensor, Z NATURFORSCH A 78 (2023) 89,

S. Bao, H.-j. Li, and G.-g. Zheng, Concentration sensor with multilayer thin film-coupled surface plasmon resonance, Optoelectron. Lett. 17 (2021) 289,

K. M. McPeak et al., Plasmonic Films Can Easily Be Better: Rules and Recipes, ACS Photonics 2 (2015) 326,

D. L. Wood and K. Nassau, Refractive index of cubic zirconia stabilized with yttria, Appl. Opt. 21 (1982) 2978,

J. Dong et al., Side-polished few-mode fiber based surface plasmon resonance biosensor, Opt. Express 27 (2019) 11348,

M. Born and E. Wolf, Principles of optics: electromagnetic theory of propagation, interference and diffraction of light (Cambridge University Press 7th expanded ed., 1999)

Y. Yuan, L. Ding, and Z. Guo, Numerical investigation for SPRbased optical fiber sensor, Sens. Actuators B Chem. 157 (2011) 240,

N. Podraza and G. Jellison, Ellipsometry, In J. C. Lindon, G. E. Tranter, and D. W. Koppenaal, eds., Encyclopedia of Spectroscopy and Spectrometry (Third Edition), pp. 482-489 (Academic Press, Oxford, 2014),

P. Y. Kuryoz, L. V. Poperenko, and V. G. Kravets, Correlation between dielectric constants and enhancement of surface plasmon resonances for thin gold films, Phys. Status Solidi A 210 (2013) 2445,

Mukhtar, Wan Maisarah, Halim, Razman Mohd, and Hassan, Hazirah, Optimization of SPR signals: Monitoring the physical structures and refractive indices of prisms, EPJ Web Conf. 162 (2017) 01001,

L. J. Sherry et al., Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance Spectroscopy of Single Silver Nanocubes, Nano Lett. 5 (2005) 2034,

A. Shalabney and I. Abdulhalim, Electromagnetic fields distribution in multilayer thin film structures and the origin of sensitivity enhancement in surface plasmon resonance sensors, Sens. Actuator A Phys. 159 (2010) 24,

C. Peng et al., Optical Waveguide Refractive Index Sensor for Biochemical Sensing, Appl. Sci. 13 (2023) 3829,




How to Cite

H. H. Sánchez Hernández, J. M. Pérez Abarca, and E. Sánchez Soto, “Study of surface plasmon resonance with zirconium oxide multilayer coatings of silver and gold films: reflection polarization modes and sensitivity”, Rev. Mex. Fís., vol. 70, no. 2 Mar-Apr, pp. 021301 1–, Mar. 2024.