A theoretical design of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) structure operating in attenuated total reflection (ATR) mode and comprising of silicon or chalcogenide (2S2G) prism material coated with gold film having different nanoparticle sizes has been reported along with some interesting performance related simulation results at the operating wavelength of 1200 nm in infrared. The admittance loci based technique has been employed for the appropriate choice of the metal layer thickness. The sensitivity and other performance parameters of the structure based on the choice of the high index prism material and correct gold nanoparticle size have also been presented. In comparison to other conventional prism based plasmonic structures, the proposed model provides the extra degree of freedom, i.e., variations of nanoparticle size in addition to the variation in layer thickness and the use of different high index prism materials like silicon, 2S2G materials, etc. Moreover, the width of the SPR curve can be controlled by using different high index prism materials as well as by changing gold nanoparticle size. Higher sensitivity can be achieved with 2S2G while higher detection accuracy is provided by silicon as prism material. © 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.