Resonant propagating waves created on the surface of a dielectric multilayer stack, called Bloch surface waves (BSW), can be designed for high sensitivity monitoring of the adjacent refractive index as an alternative platform to the metal-based surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensing. The resonant wavelength and polarization can be designed by engineering of the dielectric layers unlike the fixed resonance of SPR, while the wide bandwidth low loss of dielectrics permits sharper resonances, longer propagation lengths and thus their use in waveguiding devices. The transparency of the dielectrics allows the excitation and monitoring of surface- bound fluorescent molecules. We review the recent developments in this technology. We show the advantages that can be obtained by using high index contrast layered structures. Operating at 1550 nm wavelengths will allow the BSW sensors to be implemented in the silicon photonics platform where active waveguiding can be used in the realization of compact planar integrated circuits for multi-parameter sensing.
Khan, M. U., & Corbett, B. (2016). Bloch surface wave structures for high sensitivity detection and compact waveguiding. Science and Technology of Advanced Materials. Taylor and Francis Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1080/14686996.2016.1202082