The peculiar optical response of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) doped with metallic nanoparticles can be employed to develop optical sensing materials. These nanocomposites may work in an ample range of temperatures, showing good linearity and high sensitivity. Plasmon resonances of the metallic nanoparticles produce interesting effects on the optical response by affecting the effective refractive index of PDMS. The high resonant response leads to a number of different configurations of optical filters and phase devices whose resonant frequency depends on the chosen nanoparticle. Moreover, the wavelength can be tuned up by external manufacturing conditions such as nanoparticle size or fill factor, and by working parameters such as temperature. This work develops the theoretical background required for the design of these structures, and evaluates the adequate dimensional and doping ranges for device optimization.
Optical sensing; Plasmonic resonance; Tunable optical filter; Effective refractive index