A surface plasmon resonance ("SPR") probe with a detachable sensor head and system and methods for using the same in various applications is described. The SPR probe couples fiber optic cables directly to an SPR substrate that has a generally planar input surface and a generally curved reflecting surface, such as a substrate formed as a hemisphere. Forming the SPR probe in this manner allows the probe to be miniaturized and operate without the need for high precision, expensive and bulky collimating or focusing optics. Additionally, the curved reflecting surface of the substrate can be coated with one or multiple patches of sensing medium to allow the probe to detect for multiple analytes of interest or to provide multiple readings for comparison and higher precision. Specific applications for the probe are disclosed, including extremely high sensitive relative humidity and dewpoint detection for, e.g., moisture-sensitive environment such as volatile chemical reactions. The SPR probe disclosed operates with a large dynamic range and provides extremely high quality spectra despite being robust enough for field deployment and readily manufacturable.
POTENTIAL STATEMENT OF PATENT GOVERNMENT RIGHTS
The U.S. government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of Contract No. DE-AC09-96-SR18500 awarded by the Department of Energy.