On probing molecular monolayers: A spectroscopic optical waveguide approach of ultra-sensitivity

Sergio B. Mendes, S. Scott Saavedra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


A broadband, multichannel, single-mode, planar waveguide based spectrometer was developed for probing molecular monolayers. A protein sub-monolayer (thickness h ≅ 3 nm, imaginary part of refractive index kl ≤ 0.01) immobilized on the waveguide surface was characterized by the waveguide attenuated total reflection (ATR) spectrometer. A sensitivity enhancement of 4 orders of magnitude, compared to conventional transmission measurements, has been experimentally achieved in the characterization of ultra-thin films. In addition, polarized spectroscopic measurements at the TE and TM waveguide modes were implemented to determine the average orientation angle of the adsorbed molecules. The work developed here is a new research tool for the investigation of some fundamental aspects of molecular films and a novel platform to develop new technological devices of high sensitivity and selectivity such as biosensors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-456
Number of pages8
JournalOptics Express
Issue number11
StatePublished - May 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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