Skip to main content

Journal for Biophysical Chemistry

Editorial for biointerphases in focus: Surface plasmon resonance-plasmonics


Optical characterization of ultrathin films and interfaces using surface plasmon polariton or surface plasmon resonance (SPR) excitation in “free-electron-like” metals of gold and silver was pioneered by two research groups from Germany in the late 1960s.1,2 They showed that the SPR phenomenon could be excited optically by the method of attenuated total reflection (ATR) either via a very thin air gap-“the Otto configuration”-or by a route where the thin metal film was deposited directly on the base of a glass prism-“the Kretschmann configuration.” Both methods were extensively used to study fundamental optical properties of thin metal films and inorganic/organic coatings deposited on top of the metal film surface. In the following years the SPR-ATR approach became very popular for studies of monomolecular assemblies of Langmuir-Blodgett films on metals3 and later for the determination of molecular orientation4 in such assemblies as well as for measurement of refractive index changes occurring during phase transitions in liquid crystals.5


  1. 1

    E. Kretschmann and H. Raether, Z. Naturforsch. B 23A, 2135 (1968).

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    A. Otto, Z. Phys. 216, 398 (1968).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    I. Pockrand, J. D. Swalen, J. G. Gordon II, and M. R. Philpott, Surf. Sci. 74, 237 (1978).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    G. J. Sprokel, R. Santo, and J. D. Swalen, Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 68, 29 (1981).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    K. C. Chu, C. K. Chen, and V. R. Shen, Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 59, 97 (1980).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Electromagnetic Surface Modes, edited by A. D. Boardman (Wiley, New York, 1982).

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    H. Raether, Surface Plasmons on Smooth and Rough Surfaces and On Gratings (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1988).

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    B. Liedberg, C. Nylander, and I. Lundström, Sens. Actuators 4, 299 (1983).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    M. Malmqvist, Nature (London) 361, 186 (1993).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    J. Homola, Surface Plasmon Resonance Besed Sensors, Springer Series on Chemical Sensors and Biosensors, Methods and Applications Vol. 4, edited by O. Wolfbeis (Springer, Heidelberg, 2006).

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    J. Homola, Chem. Rev. (Washington, D.C.) 108, 462 (2008).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    E. M. Yeatman and E. A. Ash, Electron. Lett. 23, 1091 (1987).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    B. Rothenhäusler and W. Knoll, Nature (London) 332, 615 (1988).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    E. M. Yeatman, Biosens. Bioelectron. 11, 635 (1996).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. 15

    J. M. Brockman, B. P. Nelson, and R. M. Corn, Annu. Rev. Phys. Chem. 51, 41 (2000).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. 16

    H. J. Lee, D. Nedelkov, and R. M. Corn, Anal. Chem. 78, 6504 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. 17

    G. Klenkar, R. Valiokas, I. Lundström, A. Tinazli, R. Tampé, J. Piehler, and B. Liedberg, Anal. Chem. 78, 3643 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. 18

    G. Klenkar and B. Liedberg, Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 391, 1679 (2008).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. 19

    J. G. Gordon II and S. Ernst, Surf. Sci. 101, 499 (1980).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. 20

    N. Zhang, R. Schweiss, Y. Zong, and W. Knoll, Electrochim. Acta 52, 2869 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. 21

    J. W. Attridge, P. B. Daniels, J. K. Deacon, G. A. Robinson, and G. P. Davidson, Biosens. Bioelectron. 6, 201 (1991).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. 22

    M. E. Stewart C. R. Anderton, L. B. Thompson, J. Maria, S. K. Gray, J. A. Rogers, and R. G. Nuzzo, Chem. Rev. (Washington, D.C.) 108, 494 (2008).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Liedberg, B. Editorial for biointerphases in focus: Surface plasmon resonance-plasmonics. Biointerphases 3, FD1–FD2 (2008).

Download citation