Plasmonic perfect absorbers (PPAs) have promising properties to be utilized in molecular sensing and spectroscopy applications such as surface enhanced infrared absorption (SEIRA) and surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). In order to employ these properties and demonstrate the great potential of PPAs, investigation and demonstration of PPA designs and their sensing applications are highly needed. In this context, we present the design, optical characterization, experimental realization and dual-band sensing application of a subwavelength PPA array for infrared detection and surface enhanced spectroscopy applications. We analyze the PPA to investigate the absorption spectra and the fine-tuning mechanism through the parameter sweep simulations and experiments. In order to understand the absorption mechanism, we investigate the charge and current density distribution maps with electric and magnetic field enhancement effects. Additionally, we demonstrate the potential usage and reliability of the proposed PPA by presenting the experimental results of the dual-band detection of a conformal polymethyl methacrylate layer with nanometer-scale thickness atop the PPA. According to the experimental and simulation results of this study, the proposed PPA can be utilized in multiband molecular detection and high sensitive spectroscopy applications. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.