Localized surface plasmon fiber device coated with carbon nanotubes for the specific detection of CO2

Thomas D.P. Allsop, Raz Arif, Ron Neal, Kyriacos Kalli, Vojtech Kundrát, Alex Rozhin, Philip Culverhouse, David J. Webb

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


We explored the potential of a carbon nanotube (CNT) coating working in conjunction with a recently developed localized surface plasmon (LSP) device (based upon a nanostructured thin film consisting of of nano-wires of platinum) with ultra-high sensitivity to changes in the surrounding index. The uncoated LSP sensor’s transmission resonances exhibited a refractive index sensitivity of Δλ/Δn ~ -6200nm/RIU and ΔΙ/Δn ~5900dB/RIU, which is the highest reported spectral sensitivity of a fiber optic sensor to bulk index changes within the gas regime. The complete device provides the first demonstration of the chemically specific gas sensing capabilities of CNTs utilizing their optical characteristics. This is proven by investigating the spectral response of the sensor before and after the adhesion of CNTs to alkane gases along with carbon dioxide. The device shows a distinctive spectral response in the presence of gaseous CO2 over and above what is expected from general changes in the bulk refractive index. This fiber device yielded a limit of detection of 150ppm for CO2 at a pressure of one atmosphere. Additionally the adhered CNTs actually reduce sensitivity of the device to changes in bulk refractive index of the surrounding medium. The polarization properties of the LSP sensor resonances are also investigated and it is shown that there is a reduction in the overall azimuthal polarization after the CNTs are applied. These optical devices offer a way of exploiting optically the chemical selectivity of carbon nanotubes, thus providing the potential for real-world applications in gas sensing in many inflammable and explosive environments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptical Sensing, Imaging, and Photon Counting: Nanostructured Devices and Applications
EditorsManijeh Razeghi, Dorota S. Temple, Gail J. Brown
Place of PublicationBellingham, WA (US)
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)978-1-62841721-0
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2015
EventOptical Sensing, Imaging, and Photon Counting - San Diego, United States
Duration: 11 Aug 201513 Aug 2015

Publication series

NameSPIE Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)2410-9045


ConferenceOptical Sensing, Imaging, and Photon Counting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

Bibliographical note

T. Allsop ; R. Arif ; R. Neal ; K. Kalli ; V. Kundrát ; A. Rozhin ; P. Culverhouse and D. J. Webb, "Localised surface plasmon fiber device coated with carbon nanotubes for the specific detection of CO(2)", Proc. SPIE 9555, Optical Sensing, Imaging, and Photon Counting: Nanostructured Devices and Applications, 95550S (August 28, 2015).

Copyright 2015 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.2187557

Funding: EPSRC (EP/J010413 and EP/J010391)


  • carbon nanotubes
  • fiber optic sensors
  • gas-sensing
  • localized surface plasmons
  • nanostructured thin film


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