We report a naked eye refractive index sensor with a visible metamaterial absorber. The visible metamaterial absorber consisting of a silver dendritic/dielectric/metal structure shows multiple absorption peaks. By incorporating a gain material (rhodamine B) into the dielectric layer, the maximal magnitude of the absorption peak can be improved by about 30%. As the metamaterial absorber is sensitive to the refractive index of glucose solutions, it can function as a sensor that quickly responds to variations of the refractive index of the liquid. Meanwhile, since the response is presented via color changes, it can be clearly observed by the naked eyes. Further experiments have confirmed that the sensor can be used repeatedly.
Ma, H., Song, K., Zhou, L., & Zhao, X. (2015). A naked eye refractive index sensor with a visible multiple peak metamaterial absorber. Sensors (Switzerland), 15(4), 7454–7461. https://doi.org/10.3390/s150407454