Sculptured-thin-film spectral holes for optical sensing of fluids

Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Martin W. McCall, Joseph A. Sherwin, Qi Hong Wu, Ian J. Hodgkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


A novel class of fluid sensors is proposed based on monitoring the optical properties of multi-section chiral sculptured thin films (STFs) that function as spectral reflection holes. Using a nominal model that treats a chiral STF as a two-phase composite material with locally biaxial dielectric properties, we predict that the presence of a fluid in the porous film results in a red-shift of the spectral holes. Several device operation modes are proposed, and their relative merits are compared. Proof-of-concept experiments with both circularly polarized and unpolarized incident light confirm the red-shift of the spectral holes, and demonstrate operation in a practical situation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-46
Number of pages14
JournalOptics Communications
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Sculptured-thin-film spectral holes for optical sensing of fluids'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this