We report the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) measurements during plasma treatment of thin films by an indigenously designed setup. From the measurements on Al (6.3 nm)/Ag (38 nm) bi-layer at a pressure of 0.02 mbar, the SPR position was found to be shifted by ∼20 after a plasma treatment of ∼7 h. The formation of oxide layers during plasma oxidation was confirmed by glancing angle x-ray diffraction (GXRD) measurements. Combined analysis of GXRD and SPR data confirmed that while top Al layer enables controlling plasma oxidation of Ag, the setup enables monitoring the same. The setup designed is a first of its kind for in situ SPR studies where creation of low pressure is a prerequisite. © 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.