High sensitivity refractive index sensing using zone plate metasurfaces with a conical phase profile
In this paper, we showed how a bulky Axicon lens can be transformed to a compact binary zone plate with conical phase profile. We built three zone plates made of three different materials and designed each zone plate to be used in high sensitivity refractive index sensing. This work is complementary to another work we have done before in which we showed mathematically how maximum sensitivity can be achieved in case of using an Axicon lens in sensing. The zone plates are designed to generate a Bessel–Gauss beam at the wavelength of 3.3 microns at which the absorption of methane gas is maximum leading to a maximum change in the refractive index. The generated intensity in the output is very sensitive to any slight change in the refractive index of the surrounding medium. Therefore, if an optical detector is positioned at the point of maximum change in the intensity with refractive index, we can easily measure the change in refractive index and hence the percentage of the gas with very high sensitivity.