On the theory of optical sensing via infiltration of sculptured thin films

Tom G. Mackay, Akhlesh Lakhtakia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The macroscopic optical responses of sculptured thin films (STFs) can be engineered, and the composition and multiscale porosity of STFs can be exploited to promote preferential infiltration by certain chemical and biological species. Accordingly, STFs are attractive as platforms for optical sensing. We considered three aspects of the theory underpinning optical sensing of species which infiltrate STFs: (a) estimation of the constitutive and morphological parameters of infiltrated STFs by means of inverse homogenization; (b) the effect of infiltration on the reflectances and transmittances of infiltrated STFs; and (c) the effect of infiltration on the excitation of surface-plasmon-polariton waves guided by a planar metal/STF interface. Both columnar thin films and chiral STFs were considered. The sensitivity of the optical response of STFs to infiltration was found to bode well for their use in optical sensors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNanostructured Thin Films III
Publication statusPublished - Oct 28 2010
EventNanostructured Thin Films III - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 4 2010Aug 5 2010


OtherNanostructured Thin Films III
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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