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Title: Microsphere photolithography patterned nanohole array on an optical fiber
Microsphere Photolithography (MPL) is a nanopatterning technique that utilizes a self-assembled monolayer of microspheres as an optical element to focus incident radiation inside a layer of photoresist. The microspheres produces a sub-diffraction limited photonic-jet on the opposite side of each microsphere from the illumination. When combined with pattern transfer techniques such as etching/lift-off, MPL provides a versatile, low-cost fabrication method for producing hexagonal close-packed metasurfaces. This article investigates the MPL process for creating refractive index (RI) sensors on the cleaved tips of optical fiber. The resonant wavelength of metal elements on the surface is dependent on the local dielectric environment and allows the refractive index of an analyte to be resolved spectrally. A numerical study of hole arrays defined in metal films shows that the waveguide mode provides good sensitivity to the analyte refractive index. This can be readily tuned by adjusting the MPL exposure and the simulation results guide the fabrication of a defect tolerant refractive index sensor on the tip of a fiber tip with a sensitivity of 613 nm/RIU. The conformal nature of the microsphere monolayer simplifies the fabrication process and provides a viable alternative to direct-write techniques such as Focused Ion Beam (FIB) milling
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IEEE Access
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National Science Foundation
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