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Selective detection of cadmium ions using plasmonic optical fiber gratings functionalized with bacteria

Shunshuo Cai, Haixia Pan, Álvaro González Vila, Tuan Guo, David C. Gillan, Ruddy Wattiez, Christophe Caucheteur

Optics Express


Environmental monitoring and potable water control are key applications where optical fiber sensing solutions can outperform other technologies. In this work, we report a highly sensitive plasmonic fiber-optic probe that has been developed to determine the concentration of cadmium ions (Cd2+) in solution. This original sensor was fabricated by immobilizing the Acinetobacter sp. around gold-coated tilted fiber Bragg gratings (TFBGs). To this aim, the immobilization conditions of bacteria on the gold-coated optical fiber surface were first experimentally determined. Then, the coated sensors were tested in vitro. The relative intensity of the sensor response experienced a change of 1.1 dB for a Cd2+ concentration increase from 0.1 to 1000 ppb. According to our test procedure, we estimate the experimental limit of detection to be close to 1 ppb. Cadmium ions strongly bind to the sensing surface, so the sensor exhibits a much higher sensitivity to Cd2+ than to other heavy metal ions such as Pb2+, Zn2+ and CrO42- found in contaminated water, which ensures a good selectivity.

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