Combination of responsive microgels and photonic resonant nanostructures represents an intriguing technological tool for realizing tunable and reconfigurable platforms, especially useful for biochemical sensing applications. Interaction of light with microgel particles during their swelling/shrinking dynamics is not trivial because of the inverse relationships between their size and refractive index. In this work, we propose a reliable analytical model describing the optical properties of closed-packed assembly of surface-attached microgels, as a function of the external stimulus applied. The relationships between the refractive index and thickness of the equivalent microgel slab are derived from experimental observations based on conventional morphological analysis. The model is first validated in the case of temperature responsive microgels integrated on a plasmonic lab-on-fiber optrode, and also implemented in the same case study for an optical responsivity optimization problem. Overall, our model can be extended to other photonic platforms and different kind of microgels, independently from the nature of the stimulus inducing their swelling.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
Giaquinto, M., Ricciardi, A., Aliberti, A., Micco, A., Bobeico, E., Ruvo, M., & Cusano, A. (2018). Light-microgel interaction in resonant nanostructures. Scientific Reports, 8(1), -. . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-27197-4