Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 50

Search results for: plasmonic

50 Planar Plasmonic Terahertz Waveguides for Sensor Applications

Authors: Maidul Islam, Dibakar Roy Chowdhury, Gagan Kumar


We investigate sensing capabilities of a planar plasmonic THz waveguide. The waveguide is comprised of one dimensional array of periodically arranged sub wavelength scale corrugations in the form of rectangular dimples in order to ensure the plasmonic response. The THz waveguide transmission is observed for polyimide (as thin film) substance filling the dimples. The refractive index of the polyimide film is varied to examine various sensing parameters such as frequency shift, sensitivity and Figure of Merit (FoM) of the fundamental plasmonic resonance supported by the waveguide. In efforts to improve sensing characteristics, we also examine sensing capabilities of a plasmonic waveguide having V shaped corrugations and compare results with that of rectangular dimples. The proposed study could be significant in developing new terahertz sensors with improved sensitivity utilizing the plasmonic waveguides.

Keywords: plasmonics, sensors, sub-wavelength structures, terahertz

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49 Photodetector Engineering with Plasmonic Properties

Authors: Hasan Furkan Kurt, Tugba Nur Atabey, Onat Cavit Dereli, Ahmad Salmanogli, H. Selcuk Gecim


In the article, the main goal is to study the effect of the plasmonic properties on the photocurrent generated by a photodetector. Fundamentally, a typical photodetector is designed and simulated using the finite element methods. To utilize the plasmonic effect, gold nanoparticles with different shape, size and morphology are buried into the intrinsic region. Plasmonic effect is arisen through the interaction of the incoming light with nanoparticles by which electrical properties of the photodetector are manipulated. In fact, using plasmonic nanoparticles not only increases the absorption bandwidth of the incoming light, but also generates a high intensity near-field close to the plasmonic nanoparticles. Those properties strongly affect the generated photocurrent. The simulation results show that using plasmonic nanoparticles significantly enhances the electrical properties of the photodetectors. More importantly, one can easily manipulate the plasmonic properties of the gold nanoparticles through engineering the nanoparticles' size, shape and morphology. Another important phenomenon is plasmon-plasmon interaction inside the photodetector. It is shown that plasmon-plasmon interaction improves the electron-hole generation rate by which the rate of the current generation is severely enhanced. This is the key factor that we want to focus on, to improve the photodetector electrical properties.

Keywords: plasmonic photodetector, plasmon-plasmon interaction, Gold nanoparticle, electrical properties

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48 New Neuroplasmonic Sensor Based on Soft Nanolithography

Authors: Seyedeh Mehri Hamidi, Nasrin Asgari, Foozieh Sohrabi, Mohammad Ali Ansari


New neuro plasmonic sensor based on one dimensional plasmonic nano-grating has been prepared. To record neural activity, the sample has been exposed under different infrared laser and then has been calculated by ellipsometry parameters. Our results show that we have efficient sensitivity to different laser excitation.

Keywords: neural activity, Plasmonic sensor, Nanograting, Gold thin film

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47 Simulation and Fabrication of Plasmonic Lens for Bacteria Detection

Authors: Sangwoo Oh, Jaewoo Kim, Dongmin Seo, Jaewon Park, Yongha Hwang, Sungkyu Seo


Plasmonics has been regarded one of the most powerful bio-sensing modalities to evaluate bio-molecular interactions in real-time. However, most of the plasmonic sensing methods are based on labeling metallic nanoparticles, e.g. gold or silver, as optical modulation markers, which are non-recyclable and expensive. This plasmonic modulation can be usually achieved through various nano structures, e.g., nano-hole arrays. Among those structures, plasmonic lens has been regarded as a unique plasmonic structure due to its light focusing characteristics. In this study, we introduce a custom designed plasmonic lens array for bio-sensing, which was simulated by finite-difference-time-domain (FDTD) approach and fabricated by top-down approach. In our work, we performed the FDTD simulations of various plasmonic lens designs for bacteria sensor, i.e., Samonella and Hominis. We optimized the design parameters, i.e., radius, shape, and material, of the plasmonic lens. The simulation results showed the change in the peak intensity value with the introduction of each bacteria and antigen i.e., peak intensity 1.8711 a.u. with the introduction of antibody layer of thickness of 15nm. For Salmonella, the peak intensity changed from 1.8711 a.u. to 2.3654 a.u. and for Hominis, the peak intensity changed from 1.8711 a.u. to 3.2355 a.u. This significant shift in the intensity due to the interaction between bacteria and antigen showed a promising sensing capability of the plasmonic lens. With the batch processing and bulk production of this nano scale design, the cost of biological sensing can be significantly reduced, holding great promise in the fields of clinical diagnostics and bio-defense.

Keywords: plasmonic lens, FDTD, fabrication, bacteria sensor, salmonella, hominis

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46 One Dimensional Magneto-Plasmonic Structure Based On Metallic Nano-Grating

Authors: S. M. Hamidi, M. Zamani


Magneto-plasmonic (MP) structures have turned into essential tools for the amplification of magneto-optical (MO) responses via the combination of MO activity and surface Plasmon resonance (SPR). Both the plasmonic and the MO properties of the resulting MP structure become interrelated because the SPR of the metallic medium. This interconnection can be modified the wave vector of surface plasmon polariton (SPP) in MP multilayer [1] or enhanced the MO activity [2- 3] and also modified the sensor responses [4]. There are several types of MP structures which are studied to enhance MO response in miniaturized configuration. In this paper, we propose a new MP structure based on the nano-metal grating and we investigate the MO and optical properties of this new structure. Our new MP structure fabricate by DC magnetron sputtering method and our home made MO experimental setup use for characterization of the structure.

Keywords: Magneto-plasmonic structures, magneto-optical effect, nano-garting

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45 Gas Sensor Based On a One-Dimensional Nano-Grating Au/ Co/ Au/ TiO2 Magneto-Plasmonic Structure

Authors: S. M. Hamidi, M. Afsharnia


Gas sensors based on magneto-plasmonic (MP) structures have attracted much attention due to the high signal to noise ratio in these type of sensors. In these sensors, both the plasmonic and the MO properties of the resulting MP structure become interrelated because the surface Plasmon resonance (SPR) of the metallic medium. This interconnection can be modified the sensor responses and enhanced the signal to noise ratio. So far the sensor features of multilayered structures made of noble and ferromagnetic metals as Au/Co/Au MP multilayer with TiO2 sensor layer have been extensively studied, but their SPR assisted sensor response need to the krestchmann configuration. Here, we present a systematic study on the new MP structure based on one-dimensional nano-grating Au/ Co/ Au/ TiO2 multilayer to utilize as an inexpensive and easy to use gas sensor.

Keywords: Magneto-plasmonic structures, Gas sensor, nano-garting

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44 A Plasmonic Mass Spectrometry Approach for Detection of Small Nutrients and Toxins

Authors: Haiyang Su, Kun Qian


We developed a novel plasmonic matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI MS) approach to detect small nutrients and toxin in complex biological emulsion samples. We used silver nanoshells (SiO₂@Ag) with optimized structures as matrices and achieved direct analysis of ~6 nL of human breast milk without any enrichment or separation. We performed identification and quantitation of small nutrients and toxins with limit-of-detection down to 0.4 pmol (for melamine) and reaction time shortened to minutes, superior to the conventional biochemical methods currently in use. Our approach contributed to the near-future application of MALDI MS in a broad field and personalized design of plasmonic materials for real case bio-analysis.

Keywords: plasmonic materials, laser desorption/ionization, mass spectrometry, small nutrients, toxins

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43 Equations of Pulse Propagation in Three-Layer Structure of As2S3 Chalcogenide Plasmonic Nano-Waveguides

Authors: Leila Motamed-Jahromi, Mohsen Hatami, Alireza Keshavarz


This research aims at obtaining the equations of pulse propagation in nonlinear plasmonic waveguides created with As2S3 chalcogenide materials. Via utilizing Helmholtz equation and first-order perturbation theory, two components of electric field are determined within frequency domain. Afterwards, the equations are formulated in time domain. The obtained equations include two coupled differential equations that considers nonlinear dispersion.

Keywords: nonlinear optics, plasmonic waveguide, chalcogenide, propagation equation

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42 Numerical Analysis and Design of Dielectric to Plasmonic Waveguides Couplers

Authors: Emanuela Paranhos Lima, Vitaly Félix Rodríguez Esquerre


In this work, efficient directional coupler composed of dielectric waveguides and metallic film has been analyzed in details by simulations using finite element method (FEM). The structure consists of a step-index fiber with dielectric core, silica cladding, and a metal nanowire parallel to the core. The results show that an efficient conversion of optical dielectric modes to long range plasmonic is possible. Low insertion losses in conjunction with short coupling length and a broadband operation can be achieved under certain conditions. This kind of couplers has potential applications for the design of photonic integrated circuits for signal routing between dielectric/plasmonic waveguides, sensing, lithography, and optical storage systems. A high efficient focusing of light in a very small region can be obtained.

Keywords: directional coupler, finite element method, metallic nanowire, plasmonic, surface plasmon polariton, superfocusing

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41 High Gain Broadband Plasmonic Slot Nano-Antenna

Authors: H. S. Haroyan, V. R. Tadevosyan


High gain broadband plasmonic slot nano-antenna has been considered. The theory of plasmonic slot nano-antenna (PSNA) has been developed. The analytical model takes into account also the electrical field inside the metal due to imperfectness of metal in optical range, as well as numerical investigation based on FEM method has been realized. It should be mentioned that Yagi-Uda configuration improves directivity in the plane of structure. In contrast, in this paper the possibility of directivity improvement of proposed PSNA in perpendicular plane of structure by using reflection metallic surface placed under the slot in fixed distance has been demonstrated. It is well known that a directivity improvement brings to the antenna gain increasing. This method of diagram improving is also well known from RF antenna design theory. Moreover the improvement of directivity in the perpendicular plane gives more flexibility in such application as improving the light and atom, ion, molecule interactions by using such type of plasmonic slot antenna. By the analogy of dipole type optical antennas the widening of working wavelengths has been realized by using bowtie geometry of slots, which made the antenna broadband.

Keywords: broadband antenna, high gain, slot nano-antenna, plasmonics.

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40 Plasmonic Nanoshells Based Metabolite Detection for in-vitro Metabolic Diagnostics and Therapeutic Evaluation

Authors: Deepanjali Gurav, Kun Qian


In-vitro metabolic diagnosis relies on designed materials-based analytical platforms for detection of selected metabolites in biological samples, which has a key role in disease detection and therapeutic evaluation in clinics. However, the basic challenge deals with developing a simple approach for metabolic analysis in bio-samples with high sample complexity and low molecular abundance. In this work, we report a designer plasmonic nanoshells based platform for direct detection of small metabolites in clinical samples for in-vitro metabolic diagnostics. We first synthesized a series of plasmonic core-shell particles with tunable nanoshell structures. The optimized plasmonic nanoshells as new matrices allowed fast, multiplex, sensitive, and selective LDI MS (Laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry) detection of small metabolites in 0.5 μL of bio-fluids without enrichment or purification. Furthermore, coupling with isotopic quantification of selected metabolites, we demonstrated the use of these plasmonic nanoshells for disease detection and therapeutic evaluation in clinics. For disease detection, we identified patients with postoperative brain infection through glucose quantitation and daily monitoring by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis. For therapeutic evaluation, we investigated drug distribution in blood and CSF systems and validated the function and permeability of blood-brain/CSF-barriers, during therapeutic treatment of patients with cerebral edema for pharmacokinetic study. Our work sheds light on the design of materials for high-performance metabolic analysis and precision diagnostics in real cases.

Keywords: plasmonic nanoparticles, metabolites, fingerprinting, mass spectrometry, in-vitro diagnostics

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39 Nonreciprocal Optical Effects in Plasmonic Nanoparticle Aggregates

Authors: Ward Brullot, Thierry Verbiest


Nonreciprocal optical effects, such as Faraday rotation or magnetic circular dichroism, are very useful both for fundamental studies as for applications such as magnetic field sensors or optical isolators. In this study, we developed layer-by-layer deposited 20nm thick plasmonic nanoparticle aggregates consisting of gold, silver and magnetite nanoparticles that show broadband nonreciprocal asymmetric transmission. As such, the optical transmittance, or absorbance, depends on the direction of light propagation in the material, which means that looking from one direction or the other, more or less light passes through the sample. Theoretical analysis showed that strong electric quadrupole fields, which are electric field gradients, occur in the aggregates and that these quadrupole fields are responsible for the observed asymmetric transmission and the nonreciprocity of the effect. Apart from nonreciprocal asymmetric transmission, also other effects such as, but not limited to, optical rotation, circular dichroism or nonlinear optical responses were measured in the plasmonic nanoparticle aggregates and the influences of the intense electric quadrupole fields determined. In conclusion, the presence of strong electric quadrupole fields make the developed plasmonic nanoparticle aggregates ideal candidates for the study and application of various nonreciprocal optical effects.

Keywords: asymmetric transmission, electric quadrupoles, nanoparticle aggregates, nonreciprocity

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38 Investigation of Cylindrical Multi-Layer Hybrid Plasmonic Waveguides

Authors: Prateeksha Sharma, V. Dinesh Kumar


Performances of cylindrical multilayer hybrid plasmonic waveguides have been investigated in detail considering their structural and material aspects. Characteristics of hybrid metal insulator metal (HMIM) and hybrid insulator metal insulator (HIMI) waveguides have been compared on the basis of propagation length and confinement factor. Necessity of this study is to understand newer kind of waveguides that overcome the limitations of conventional waveguides. Investigation reveals that sub wavelength confinement can be obtained in two low dielectric spacer layers. This study provides gateway for many applications such as nano lasers, interconnects, bio sensors and optical trapping etc.

Keywords: hybrid insulator metal insulator, hybrid metal insulator metal, nano laser, surface plasmon polariton

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37 Self-Assembled Laser-Activated Plasmonic Substrates for High-Throughput, High-Efficiency Intracellular Delivery

Authors: Marinna Madrid, Nabiha Saklayen, Marinus Huber, Nicolas Vogel, Christos Boutopoulos, Michel Meunier, Eric Mazur


Delivering material into cells is important for a diverse range of biological applications, including gene therapy, cellular engineering and imaging. We present a plasmonic substrate for delivering membrane-impermeable material into cells at high throughput and high efficiency while maintaining cell viability. The substrate fabrication is based on an affordable and fast colloidal self-assembly process. When illuminated with a femtosecond laser, the light interacts with the electrons at the surface of the metal substrate, creating localized surface plasmons that form bubbles via energy dissipation in the surrounding medium. These bubbles come into close contact with the cell membrane to form transient pores and enable entry of membrane-impermeable material via diffusion. We use fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry to verify delivery of membrane-impermeable material into HeLa CCL-2 cells. We show delivery efficiency and cell viability data for a range of membrane-impermeable cargo, including dyes and biologically relevant material such as siRNA. We estimate the effective pore size by determining delivery efficiency for hard fluorescent spheres with diameters ranging from 20 nm to 2 um. To provide insight to the cell poration mechanism, we relate the poration data to pump-probe measurements of micro- and nano-bubble formation on the plasmonic substrate. Finally, we investigate substrate stability and reusability by using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to inspect for damage on the substrate after laser treatment. SEM images show no visible damage. Our findings indicate that self-assembled plasmonic substrates are an affordable tool for high-throughput, high-efficiency delivery of material into mammalian cells.

Keywords: femtosecond laser, intracellular delivery, plasmonic, self-assembly

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36 Rapid Plasmonic Colorimetric Glucose Biosensor via Biocatalytic Enlargement of Gold Nanostars

Authors: Masauso Moses Phiri


Frequent glucose monitoring is essential to the management of diabetes. Plasmonic enzyme-based glucose biosensors have the advantages of greater specificity, simplicity and rapidity. The aim of this study was to develop a rapid plasmonic colorimetric glucose biosensor based on biocatalytic enlargement of AuNS guided by GOx. Gold nanoparticles of 18 nm in diameter were synthesized using the citrate method. Using these as seeds, a modified seeded method for the synthesis of monodispersed gold nanostars was followed. Both the spherical and star-shaped nanoparticles were characterized using ultra-violet visible spectroscopy, agarose gel electrophoresis, dynamic light scattering, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. The feasibility of a plasmonic colorimetric assay through growth of AuNS by silver coating in the presence of hydrogen peroxide was investigated by several control and optimization experiments. Conditions for excellent sensing such as the concentration of the detection solution in the presence of 20 µL AuNS, 10 mM of 2-(N-morpholino) ethanesulfonic acid (MES), ammonia and hydrogen peroxide were optimized. Using the optimized conditions, the glucose assay was developed by adding 5mM of GOx to the solution and varying concentrations of glucose to it. Kinetic readings, as well as color changes, were observed. The results showed that the absorbance values of the AuNS were blue shifting and increasing as the concentration of glucose was elevated. Control experiments indicated no growth of AuNS in the absence of GOx, glucose or molecular O₂. Increased glucose concentration led to an enhanced growth of AuNS. The detection of glucose was also done by naked-eye. The color development was near complete in ± 10 minutes. The kinetic readings which were monitored at 450 and 560 nm showed that the assay could discriminate between different concentrations of glucose by ± 50 seconds and near complete at ± 120 seconds. A calibration curve for the qualitative measurement of glucose was derived. The magnitude of wavelength shifts and absorbance values increased concomitantly with glucose concentrations until 90 µg/mL. Beyond that, it leveled off. The lowest amount of glucose that could produce a blue shift in the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) absorption maxima was found to be 10 – 90 µg/mL. The limit of detection was 0.12 µg/mL. This enabled the construction of a direct sensitivity plasmonic colorimetric detection of glucose using AuNS that was rapid, sensitive and cost-effective with naked-eye detection. It has great potential for transfer of technology for point-of-care devices.

Keywords: colorimetric, gold nanostars, glucose, glucose oxidase, plasmonic

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35 Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy with Plasmonic Lens Focused Longitudinal Electric Field Excitation

Authors: Mingqian Zhang


Tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS) is a scanning probe technique for individual objects and structured surfaces investigation that provides a wealth of enhanced spectral information with nanoscale spatial resolution and high detection sensitivity. It has become a powerful and promising chemical and physical information detection method in the nanometer scale. The TERS technique uses a sharp metallic tip regulated in the near-field of a sample surface, which is illuminated with a certain incident beam meeting the excitation conditions of the wave-vector matching. The local electric field, and, consequently, the Raman scattering, from the sample in the vicinity of the tip apex are both greatly tip-enhanced owning to the excitation of localized surface plasmons and the lightning-rod effect. Typically, a TERS setup is composed of a scanning probe microscope, excitation and collection optical configurations, and a Raman spectroscope. In the illumination configuration, an objective lens or a parabolic mirror is always used as the most important component, in order to focus the incident beam on the tip apex for excitation. In this research, a novel TERS setup was built up by introducing a plasmonic lens to the excitation optics as a focusing device. A plasmonic lens with symmetry breaking semi-annular slits corrugated on gold film was designed for the purpose of generating concentrated sub-wavelength light spots with strong longitudinal electric field. Compared to conventional far-field optical components, the designed plasmonic lens not only focuses an incident beam to a sub-wavelength light spot, but also realizes a strong z-component that dominants the electric field illumination, which is ideal for the excitation of tip-enhancement. Therefore, using a PL in the illumination configuration of TERS contributes to improve the detection sensitivity by both reducing the far-field background and effectively exciting the localized electric field enhancement. The FDTD method was employed to investigate the optical near-field distribution resulting from the light-nanostructure interaction. And the optical field distribution was characterized using an scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscope to demonstrate the focusing performance of the lens. The experimental result is in agreement with the theoretically calculated one. It verifies the focusing performance of the plasmonic lens. The optical field distribution shows a bright elliptic spot in the lens center and several arc-like side-lobes on both sides. After the focusing performance was experimentally verified, the designed plasmonic lens was used as a focusing component in the excitation configuration of TERS setup to concentrate incident energy and generate a longitudinal optical field. A collimated linearly polarized laser beam, with along x-axis polarization, was incident from the bottom glass side on the plasmonic lens. The incident light focused by the plasmonic lens interacted with the silver-coated tip apex and enhanced the Raman signal of the sample locally. The scattered Raman signal was gathered by a parabolic mirror and detected with a Raman spectroscopy. Then, the plasmonic lens based setup was employed to investigate carbon nanotubes and TERS experiment was performed. Experimental results indicate that the Raman signal is considerably enhanced which proves that the novel TERS configuration is feasible and promising.

Keywords: longitudinal electric field, plasmonics, raman spectroscopy, tip-enhancement

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34 Broadband Optical Plasmonic Antennas Using Fano Resonance Effects

Authors: Siamak Dawazdah Emami, Amin Khodaei, Harith Bin Ahmad, Hairul A. Adbul-Rashid


The Fano resonance effect on plasmonic nanoparticle materials results in such materials possessing a number of unique optical properties, and the potential applicability for sensing, nonlinear devices and slow-light devices. A Fano resonance is a consequence of coherent interference between superradiant and subradiant hybridized plasmon modes. Incident light on subradiant modes will initiate excitation that results in superradiant modes, and these superradient modes possess zero or finite dipole moments alongside a comparable negligible coupling with light. This research work details the derivation of an electrodynamics coupling model for the interaction of dipolar transitions and radiation via plasmonic nanoclusters such as quadrimers, pentamers and heptamers. The directivity calculation is analyzed in order to qualify the redirection of emission. The geometry of a configured array of nanostructures strongly influenced the transmission and reflection properties, which subsequently resulted in the directivity of each antenna being related to the nanosphere size and gap distances between the nanospheres in each model’s structure. A well-separated configuration of nanospheres resulted in the structure behaving similarly to monomers, with spectra peaks of a broad superradiant mode being centered within the vicinity of 560 nm wavelength. Reducing the distance between ring nanospheres in pentamers and heptamers to 20~60 nm caused the coupling factor and charge distributions to increase and invoke a subradiant mode centered within the vicinity of 690 nm. Increasing the outside ring’s nanosphere distance from the centered nanospheres caused the coupling factor to decrease, with the coupling factor being inversely proportional to cubic of the distance between nanospheres. This phenomenon led to a dramatic decrease of the superradiant mode at a 200 nm distance between the central nanosphere and outer rings. Effects from a superradiant mode vanished beyond a 240 nm distance between central and outer ring nanospheres.

Keywords: fano resonance, optical antenna, plasmonic, nano-clusters

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33 In-vitro Metabolic Fingerprinting Using Plasmonic Chips by Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry

Authors: Vadanasundari Vedarethinam, Kun Qian


The metabolic analysis is more distal over proteomics and genomics engaging in clinics and needs rationally distinct techniques, designed materials, and device for clinical diagnosis. Conventional techniques such as spectroscopic techniques, biochemical analyzers, and electrochemical have been used for metabolic diagnosis. Currently, there are four major challenges including (I) long-term process in sample pretreatment; (II) difficulties in direct metabolic analysis of biosamples due to complexity (III) low molecular weight metabolite detection with accuracy and (IV) construction of diagnostic tools by materials and device-based platforms for real case application in biomedical applications. Development of chips with nanomaterial is promising to address these critical issues. Mass spectroscopy (MS) has displayed high sensitivity and accuracy, throughput, reproducibility, and resolution for molecular analysis. Particularly laser desorption/ ionization mass spectrometry (LDI MS) combined with devices affords desirable speed for mass measurement in seconds and high sensitivity with low cost towards large scale uses. We developed a plasmonic chip for clinical metabolic fingerprinting as a hot carrier in LDI MS by series of chips with gold nanoshells on the surface through controlled particle synthesis, dip-coating, and gold sputtering for mass production. We integrated the optimized chip with microarrays for laboratory automation and nanoscaled experiments, which afforded direct high-performance metabolic fingerprinting by LDI MS using 500 nL of serum, urine, cerebrospinal fluids (CSF) and exosomes. Further, we demonstrated on-chip direct in-vitro metabolic diagnosis of early-stage lung cancer patients using serum and exosomes without any pretreatment or purifications. To our best knowledge, this work initiates a bionanotechnology based platform for advanced metabolic analysis toward large-scale diagnostic use.

Keywords: plasmonic chip, metabolic fingerprinting, LDI MS, in-vitro diagnostics

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32 Multifunctional Plasmonic Ag-TiO2 Nano-biocompoistes: Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering and Anti-microbial Properties

Authors: Jai Prakash, Promod Kumar, Chantel Swart, J. H. Neethling, A. Janse van Vuuren, H. C. Swart


Ag nanoparticles (NPs) have been used as functional nanomaterials due to their optical and antibacterial properties. Similarly, TiO2 photocatalysts have also been used as suitable nanomaterials for killing cancer cells, viruses and bacteria. Here, we report on multifunctional plasmonic Ag-TiO2 nano-biocomposite synthesized by the sol-gel technique and their optical, surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and antibacterial activities. The as-prepared composites of Ag–TiO2 with different silver content and TiO2 nanopowder were characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, energy-dispersed X-ray analysis (EDX), UV-vis and Raman spectroscopy. The Ag NPs were found to be uniformly distributed and strongly attached to the TiO2 matrix. The novel optical response of the Ag-TiO2 nanocomposites is due to the strong electric field from the surface plasmon excitation of the Ag NPs. The Raman spectrum of Ag-TiO2 nanocomposite was found to be enhanced as compared to TiO2. The enhancement of the low frequency band is evident. This indicates the SERS effect of the TiO2 NPs in close vicinity of Ag NPs. In addition, nanocomposites showed enhancement in the SERS signals of methyl orange (MO) dye molecules with increasing Ag content. The localized electromagnetic field from the surface plasmon excitation of the Ag NPs was responsible for the SERS signals of the TiO2 NPs and MO molecules. The antimicrobial effect of the Ag–TiO2 nanocomposites with different silver content and TiO2 nanopowder were carried out against the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. The Ag–TiO2 composites showed antibacterial activity towards S. aureus with increasing Ag content as compared to the TiO2 nanopowder. These results foresee promising applications of the functional plasmonic metal−semiconductor based nanobiocomposites for both chemical and biological samples.

Keywords: metal-Semiconductor, nano-Biocomposites, anti-microbial activity, surface enhanced Raman scattering

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31 Microfluidic Plasmonic Device for the Sensitive Dual LSPR-Thermal Detection of the Cardiac Troponin Biomarker in Laminal Flow

Authors: Andreea Campu, Ilinica Muresan, Simona Cainap, Simion Astilean, Monica Focsan


Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is the most severe cardiovascular disease, which has threatened human lives for decades, thus a continuous interest is directed towards the detection of cardiac biomarkers such as cardiac troponin I (cTnI) in order to predict risk and, implicitly, fulfill the early diagnosis requirements in AMI settings. Microfluidics is a major technology involved in the development of efficient sensing devices with real-time fast responses and on-site applicability. Microfluidic devices have gathered a lot of attention recently due to their advantageous features such as high sensitivity and specificity, miniaturization and portability, ease-of-use, low-cost, facile fabrication, and reduced sample manipulation. The integration of gold nanoparticles into the structure of microfluidic sensors has led to the development of highly effective detection systems, considering the unique properties of the metallic nanostructures, specifically the Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance (LSPR), which makes them highly sensitive to their microenvironment. In this scientific context, herein, we propose the implementation of a novel detection device, which successfully combines the efficiency of gold bipyramids (AuBPs) as signal transducers and thermal generators with the sample-driven advantages of the microfluidic channels into a miniaturized, portable, low-cost, specific, and sensitive test for the dual LSPR-thermographic cTnI detection. Specifically, AuBPs with longitudinal LSPR response at 830 nm were chemically synthesized using the seed-mediated growth approach and characterized in terms of optical and morphological properties. Further, the colloidal AuBPs were deposited onto pre-treated silanized glass substrates thus, a uniform nanoparticle coverage of the substrate was obtained and confirmed by extinction measurements showing a 43 nm blue-shift of the LSPR response as a consequence of the refractive index change. The as-obtained plasmonic substrate was then integrated into a microfluidic “Y”-shaped polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) channel, fabricated using a Laser Cutter system. Both plasmonic and microfluidic elements were plasma treated in order to achieve a permanent bond. The as-developed microfluidic plasmonic chip was further coupled to an automated syringe pump system. The proposed biosensing protocol implicates the successive injection inside the microfluidic channel as follows: p-aminothiophenol and glutaraldehyde, to achieve a covalent bond between the metallic surface and cTnI antibody, anti-cTnI, as a recognition element, and target cTnI biomarker. The successful functionalization and capture of cTnI was monitored by LSPR detection thus, after each step, a red-shift of the optical response was recorded. Furthermore, as an innovative detection technique, thermal determinations were made after each injection by exposing the microfluidic plasmonic chip to 785 nm laser excitation, considering that the AuBPs exhibit high light-to-heat conversion performances. By the analysis of the thermographic images, thermal curves were obtained, showing a decrease in the thermal efficiency after the anti-cTnI-cTnI reaction was realized. Thus, we developed a microfluidic plasmonic chip able to operate as both LSPR and thermal sensor for the detection of the cardiac troponin I biomarker, leading thus to the progress of diagnostic devices.

Keywords: gold nanobipyramids, microfluidic device, localized surface plasmon resonance detection, thermographic detection

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30 Covalently Conjugated Gold–Porphyrin Nanostructures

Authors: L. Spitaleri, C. M. A. Gangemi, R. Purrello, G. Nicotra, G. Trusso Sfrazzetto, G. Casella, M. Casarin, A. Gulino


Hybrid molecular–nanoparticle materials, obtained with a bottom-up approach, are suitable for the fabrication of functional nanostructures showing structural control and well-defined properties, i.e., optical, electronic or catalytic properties, in the perspective of applications in different fields of nanotechnology. Gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) exhibit important chemical, electronic and optical properties due to their size, shape and electronic structures. In fact, Au NPs containing no more than 30-40 atoms are only luminescent because they can be considered as large molecules with discrete energy levels, while nano-sized Au NPs only show the surface plasmon resonance. Hence, it appears that gold nanoparticles can alternatively be luminescent or plasmonic, and this represents a severe constraint for their use as an optical material. The aim of this work was the fabrication of nanoscale assembly of Au NPs covalently anchored to each other by means of novel bi-functional porphyrin molecules that work as bridges between different gold nanoparticles. This functional architecture shows a strong surface plasmon due to the Au nanoparticles and a strong luminescence signal coming from porphyrin molecules, thus, behaving like an artificial organized plasmonic and fluorescent network. The self-assembly geometry of this porphyrin on the Au NPs was studied by investigation of the conformational properties of the porphyrin derivative at the DFT level. The morphology, electronic structure and optical properties of the conjugated Au NPs – porphyrin system were investigated by TEM, XPS, UV–vis and Luminescence. The present nanostructures can be used for plasmon-enhanced fluorescence, photocatalysis, nonlinear optics, etc., under atmospheric conditions since our system is not reactive to air nor water and does not need to be stored in a vacuum or inert gas.

Keywords: gold nanoparticle, porphyrin, surface plasmon resonance, luminescence, nanostructures

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29 Microfluidic Plasmonic Bio-Sensing of Exosomes by Using a Gold Nano-Island Platform

Authors: Srinivas Bathini, Duraichelvan Raju, Simona Badilescu, Muthukumaran Packirisamy


A bio-sensing method, based on the plasmonic property of gold nano-islands, has been developed for detection of exosomes in a clinical setting. The position of the gold plasmon band in the UV-Visible spectrum depends on the size and shape of gold nanoparticles as well as on the surrounding environment. By adsorbing various chemical entities, or binding them, the gold plasmon band will shift toward longer wavelengths and the shift is proportional to the concentration. Exosomes transport cargoes of molecules and genetic materials to proximal and distal cells. Presently, the standard method for their isolation and quantification from body fluids is by ultracentrifugation, not a practical method to be implemented in a clinical setting. Thus, a versatile and cutting-edge platform is required to selectively detect and isolate exosomes for further analysis at clinical level. The new sensing protocol, instead of antibodies, makes use of a specially synthesized polypeptide (Vn96), to capture and quantify the exosomes from different media, by binding the heat shock proteins from exosomes. The protocol has been established and optimized by using a glass substrate, in order to facilitate the next stage, namely the transfer of the protocol to a microfluidic environment. After each step of the protocol, the UV-Vis spectrum was recorded and the position of gold Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance (LSPR) band was measured. The sensing process was modelled, taking into account the characteristics of the nano-island structure, prepared by thermal convection and annealing. The optimal molar ratios of the most important chemical entities, involved in the detection of exosomes were calculated as well. Indeed, it was found that the results of the sensing process depend on the two major steps: the molar ratios of streptavidin to biotin-PEG-Vn96 and, the final step, the capture of exosomes by the biotin-PEG-Vn96 complex. The microfluidic device designed for sensing of exosomes consists of a glass substrate, sealed by a PDMS layer that contains the channel and a collecting chamber. In the device, the solutions of linker, cross-linker, etc., are pumped over the gold nano-islands and an Ocean Optics spectrometer is used to measure the position of the Au plasmon band at each step of the sensing. The experiments have shown that the shift of the Au LSPR band is proportional to the concentration of exosomes and, thereby, exosomes can be accurately quantified. An important advantage of the method is the ability to discriminate between exosomes having different origins.

Keywords: exosomes, gold nano-islands, microfluidics, plasmonic biosensing

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28 Photocatalytic Hydrogen Production, Effect of Metal Particle Size and Their Electronic/Optical Properties on the Reaction

Authors: Hicham Idriss


Hydrogen production from water is one of the most promising methods to secure renewable sources or vectors of energy for societies in general and for chemical industries in particular. At present over 90% of the total amount of hydrogen produced in the world is made from non-renewable fossil fuels (via methane reforming). There are many methods for producing hydrogen from water and these include reducible oxide materials (solar thermal production), combined PV/electrolysis, artificial photosynthesis and photocatalysis. The most promising of these processes is the one relying on photocatalysis; yet serious challenges are hindering its success so far. In order to make this process viable considerable improvement of the photon conversion is needed. Among the key studies that our group has been conducting in the last few years are those focusing on synergism between the semiconductor phases, photonic band gap materials, pn junctions, plasmonic resonance responses, charge transfer to metal cations, in addition to metal dispersion and band gap engineering. In this work results related to phase transformation of the anatase to rutile in the case of TiO2 (synergism), of Au and Ag dispersion (electron trapping and hydrogen-hydrogen recombination centers) as well as their plasmon resonance response (visible light conversion) are presented and discussed. It is found for example that synergism between the two common phases of TiO2 (anatase and rutile) is sensitive to the initial particle size. It is also found, in agreement with previous results, that the rate is very sensitive to the amount of metals (with similar particle size) on the surface unlike the case of thermal heterogeneous catalysis.

Keywords: photo-catalysis, hydrogen production, water splitting, plasmonic

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27 Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy-Based Detection of SARS-CoV-2 Through In Situ One-pot Electrochemical Synthesis of 3D Au-Lysate Nanocomposite Structures on Plasmonic Au Electrodes

Authors: Ansah Iris Baffour, Dong-Ho Kim, Sung-Gyu Park


The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and is gradually shifting to an endemic phase which implies the outbreak is far from over and will be difficult to eradicate. Global cooperation has led to unified precautions that aim to suppress epidemiological spread (e.g., through travel restrictions) and reach herd immunity (through vaccinations); however, the primary strategy to restrain the spread of the virus in mass populations relies on screening protocols that enable rapid on-site diagnosis of infections. Herein, we employed surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) for the rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 lysate on an Au-modified Au nanodimple(AuND)electrode. Through in situone-pot Au electrodeposition on the AuND electrode, Au-lysate nanocomposites were synthesized, generating3D internal hotspots for large SERS signal enhancements within 30 s of the deposition. The capture of lysate into newly generated plasmonic nanogaps within the nanocomposite structures enhanced metal-spike protein contact in 3D spaces and served as hotspots for sensitive detection. The limit of detection of SARS-CoV-2 lysate was 5 x 10-2 PFU/mL. Interestingly, ultrasensitive detection of the lysates of influenza A/H1N1 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) was possible, but the method showed ultimate selectivity for SARS-CoV-2 in lysate solution mixtures. We investigated the practical application of the approach for rapid on-site diagnosis by detecting SARS-CoV-2 lysate spiked in normal human saliva at ultralow concentrations. The results presented demonstrate the reliability and sensitivity of the assay for rapid diagnosis of COVID-19.

Keywords: label-free detection, nanocomposites, SARS-CoV-2, surface-enhanced raman spectroscopy

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26 Electronic Raman Scattering Calibration for Quantitative Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy and Improved Biostatistical Analysis

Authors: Wonil Nam, Xiang Ren, Inyoung Kim, Masoud Agah, Wei Zhou


Despite its ultrasensitive detection capability, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) faces challenges as a quantitative biochemical analysis tool due to the significant dependence of local field intensity in hotspots on nanoscale geometric variations of plasmonic nanostructures. Therefore, despite enormous progress in plasmonic nanoengineering of high-performance SERS devices, it is still challenging to quantitatively correlate the measured SERS signals with the actual molecule concentrations at hotspots. A significant effort has been devoted to developing SERS calibration methods by introducing internal standards. It has been achieved by placing Raman tags at plasmonic hotspots. Raman tags undergo similar SERS enhancement at the same hotspots, and ratiometric SERS signals for analytes of interest can be generated with reduced dependence on geometrical variations. However, using Raman tags still faces challenges for real-world applications, including spatial competition between the analyte and tags in hotspots, spectral interference, laser-induced degradation/desorption due to plasmon-enhanced photochemical/photothermal effects. We show that electronic Raman scattering (ERS) signals from metallic nanostructures at hotspots can serve as the internal calibration standard to enable quantitative SERS analysis and improve biostatistical analysis. We perform SERS with Au-SiO₂ multilayered metal-insulator-metal nano laminated plasmonic nanostructures. Since the ERS signal is proportional to the volume density of electron-hole occupation in hotspots, the ERS signals exponentially increase when the wavenumber is approaching the zero value. By a long-pass filter, generally used in backscattered SERS configurations, to chop the ERS background continuum, we can observe an ERS pseudo-peak, IERS. Both ERS and SERS processes experience the |E|⁴ local enhancements during the excitation and inelastic scattering transitions. We calibrated IMRS of 10 μM Rhodamine 6G in solution by IERS. The results show that ERS calibration generates a new analytical value, ISERS/IERS, insensitive to variations from different hotspots and thus can quantitatively reflect the molecular concentration information. Given the calibration capability of ERS signals, we performed label-free SERS analysis of living biological systems using four different breast normal and cancer cell lines cultured on nano-laminated SERS devices. 2D Raman mapping over 100 μm × 100 μm, containing several cells, was conducted. The SERS spectra were subsequently analyzed by multivariate analysis using partial least square discriminant analysis. Remarkably, after ERS calibration, MCF-10A and MCF-7 cells are further separated while the two triple-negative breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231 and HCC-1806) are more overlapped, in good agreement with the well-known cancer categorization regarding the degree of malignancy. To assess the strength of ERS calibration, we further carried out a drug efficacy study using MDA-MB-231 and different concentrations of anti-cancer drug paclitaxel (PTX). After ERS calibration, we can more clearly segregate the control/low-dosage groups (0 and 1.5 nM), the middle-dosage group (5 nM), and the group treated with half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50, 15 nM). Therefore, we envision that ERS calibrated SERS can find crucial opportunities in label-free molecular profiling of complicated biological systems.

Keywords: cancer cell drug efficacy, plasmonics, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), SERS calibration

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25 Nano-Plasmonic Diagnostic Sensor Using Ultraflat Single-Crystalline Au Nanoplate and Cysteine-Tagged Protein G

Authors: Hwang Ahreum, Kang Taejoon, Kim Bongsoo


Nanosensors for high sensitive detection of diseases have been widely studied to improve the quality of life. Here, we suggest robust nano-plasmonic diagnostic sensor using cysteine tagged protein G (Cys3-protein G) and ultraflat, ultraclean and single-crystalline Au nanoplates. Protein G formed on an ultraflat Au surface provides ideal background for dense and uniform immobilization of antibodies. The Au is highly stable in diverse biochemical environment and can immobilize antibodies easily through Au-S bonding, having been widely used for various biosensing applications. Especially, atomically smooth single-crystalline Au nanomaterials synthesized using chemical vapor transport (CVT) method are very suitable to fabricate reproducible sensitive sensors. As the C-reactive protein (CRP) is a nonspecific biomarker of inflammation and infection, it can be used as a predictive or prognostic marker for various cardiovascular diseases. Cys3-protein G immobilized uniformly on the Au nanoplate enable CRP antibody (anti-CRP) to be ordered in a correct orientation, making their binding capacity be maximized for CRP detection. Immobilization condition for the Cys3-protein G and anti-CRP on the Au nanoplate is optimized visually by AFM analysis. Au nanoparticle - Au nanoplate (NPs-on-Au nanoplate) assembly fabricated from sandwich immunoassay for CRP can reduce zero-signal extremely caused by nonspecific bindings, providing a distinct surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) enhancement still in 10-18 M of CRP concentration. Moreover, the NP-on-Au nanoplate sensor shows an excellent selectivity against non-target proteins with high concentration. In addition, comparing with control experiments employing a Au film fabricated by e-beam assisted deposition and linker molecule, we validate clearly contribution of the Au nanoplate for the attomolar sensitive detection of CRP. We expect that the devised platform employing the complex of single-crystalline Au nanoplates and Cys3-protein G can be applied for detection of many other cancer biomarkers.

Keywords: Au nanoplate, biomarker, diagnostic sensor, protein G, SERS

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24 Plasmonic Biosensor for Early Detection of Environmental DNA (eDNA) Combined with Enzyme Amplification

Authors: Monisha Elumalai, Joana Guerreiro, Joana Carvalho, Marta Prado


DNA biosensors popularity has been increasing over the past few years. Traditional analytical techniques tend to require complex steps and expensive equipment however DNA biosensors have the advantage of getting simple, fast and economic. Additionally, the combination of DNA biosensors with nanomaterials offers the opportunity to improve the selectivity, sensitivity and the overall performance of the devices. DNA biosensors are based on oligonucleotides as sensing elements. These oligonucleotides are highly specific to complementary DNA sequences resulting in the hybridization of the strands. DNA biosensors are not only an advantage in the clinical field but also applicable in numerous research areas such as food analysis or environmental control. Zebra Mussels (ZM), Dreissena polymorpha are invasive species responsible for enormous negative impacts on the environment and ecosystems. Generally, the detection of ZM is made when the observation of adult or macroscopic larvae's is made however at this stage is too late to avoid the harmful effects. Therefore, there is a need to develop an analytical tool for the early detection of ZM. Here, we present a portable plasmonic biosensor for the detection of environmental DNA (eDNA) released to the environment from this invasive species. The plasmonic DNA biosensor combines gold nanoparticles, as transducer elements, due to their great optical properties and high sensitivity. The detection strategy is based on the immobilization of a short base pair DNA sequence on the nanoparticles surface followed by specific hybridization in the presence of a complementary target DNA. The hybridization events are tracked by the optical response provided by the nanospheres and their surrounding environment. The identification of the DNA sequences (synthetic target and probes) to detect Zebra mussel were designed by using Geneious software in order to maximize the specificity. Moreover, to increase the optical response enzyme amplification of DNA might be used. The gold nanospheres were synthesized and characterized by UV-visible spectrophotometry and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The obtained nanospheres present the maximum localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) peak position are found to be around 519 nm and a diameter of 17nm. The DNA probes modified with a sulfur group at one end of the sequence were then loaded on the gold nanospheres at different ionic strengths and DNA probe concentrations. The optimal DNA probe loading will be selected based on the stability of the optical signal followed by the hybridization study. Hybridization process leads to either nanoparticle dispersion or aggregation based on the presence or absence of the target DNA. Finally, this detection system will be integrated into an optical sensing platform. Considering that the developed device will be used in the field, it should fulfill the inexpensive and portability requirements. The sensing devices based on specific DNA detection holds great potential and can be exploited for sensing applications in-loco.

Keywords: ZM DNA, DNA probes, nicking enzyme, gold nanoparticles

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23 Chiral Molecule Detection via Optical Rectification in Spin-Momentum Locking

Authors: Jessie Rapoza, Petr Moroshkin, Jimmy Xu


Chirality is omnipresent, in nature, in life, and in the field of physics. One intriguing example is the homochirality that has remained a great secret of life. Another is the pairs of mirror-image molecules – enantiomers. They are identical in atomic composition and therefore indistinguishable in the scalar physical properties. Yet, they can be either therapeutic or toxic, depending on their chirality. Recent studies suggest a potential link between abnormal levels of certain D-amino acids and some serious health impairments, including schizophrenia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and potentially cancer. Although indistinguishable in their scalar properties, the chirality of a molecule reveals itself in interaction with the surrounding of a certain chirality, or more generally, a broken mirror-symmetry. In this work, we report on a system for chiral molecule detection, in which the mirror-symmetry is doubly broken, first by asymmetric structuring a nanopatterned plasmonic surface than by the incidence of circularly polarized light (CPL). In this system, the incident circularly-polarized light induces a surface plasmon polariton (SPP) wave, propagating along the asymmetric plasmonic surface. This SPP field itself is chiral, evanescently bound to a near-field zone on the surface (~10nm thick), but with an amplitude greatly intensified (by up to 104) over that of the incident light. It hence probes just the molecules on the surface instead of those in the volume. In coupling to molecules along its path on the surface, the chiral SPP wave favors one chirality over the other, allowing for chirality detection via the change in an optical rectification current measured at the edges of the sample. The asymmetrically structured surface converts the high-frequency electron plasmonic-oscillations in the SPP wave into a net DC drift current that can be measured at the edge of the sample via the mechanism of optical rectification. The measured results validate these design concepts and principles. The observed optical rectification current exhibits a clear differentiation between a pair of enantiomers. Experiments were performed by focusing a 1064nm CW laser light at the sample - a gold grating microchip submerged in an approximately 1.82M solution of either L-arabinose or D-arabinose and water. A measurement of the current output was then recorded under both rights and left circularly polarized lights. Measurements were recorded at various angles of incidence to optimize the coupling between the spin-momentums of the incident light and that of the SPP, that is, spin-momentum locking. In order to suppress the background, the values of the photocurrent for the right CPL are subtracted from those for the left CPL. Comparison between the two arabinose enantiomers reveals a preferential signal response of one enantiomer to left CPL and the other enantiomer to right CPL. In sum, this work reports on the first experimental evidence of the feasibility of chiral molecule detection via optical rectification in a metal meta-grating. This nanoscale interfaced electrical detection technology is advantageous over other detection methods due to its size, cost, ease of use, and integration ability with read-out electronic circuits for data processing and interpretation.

Keywords: Chirality, detection, molecule, spin

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22 Terahertz Surface Plasmon in Carbon Nanotube Dielectric Interface via Amplitude Modulated Laser

Authors: Monika Singh


A carbon nanotube thin film coated on dielectric interface is employed to produce THz surface plasma wave (SPW). The carbon nanotube has its plasmon frequency in the THz range. The SPW field falls off away from the metal film both inside the dielectric as well as in free space. An amplitude modulated laser pulse normally incident, from free space on slow wave structure, exert a modulation frequency ponderomotive force on the free electrons of the CNT film and resonantly excite the THz surface plasma wave at the modulation frequency. Carbon nanotube based plasmonic nano-structure materials provides potentially more versatile approach to tightly confined surface modes in the THz range in comparison to noble metals.

Keywords: surface plasmons, surface waves, thin films, THz radiation

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21 Comparison of Cu Nanoparticle Formation and Properties with and without Surrounding Dielectric

Authors: P. Dubcek, B. Pivac, J. Dasovic, V. Janicki, S. Bernstorff


When grown only to nanometric sizes, metallic particles (e.g. Ag, Au and Cu) exhibit specific optical properties caused by the presence of plasmon band. The plasmon band represents collective oscillation of the conduction electrons, and causes a narrow band absorption of light in the visible range. When the nanoparticles are embedded in a dielectric, they also cause modifications of dielectrics optical properties. This can be fine-tuned by tuning the particle size. We investigated Cu nanoparticle growth with and without surrounding dielectric (SiO2 capping layer). The morphology and crystallinity were investigated by GISAXS and GIWAXS, respectively. Samples were produced by high vacuum thermal evaporation of Cu onto monocrystalline silicon substrate held at room temperature, 100°C or 180°C. One series was in situ capped by 10nm SiO2 layer. Additionally, samples were annealed at different temperatures up to 550°C, also in high vacuum. The room temperature deposited samples annealed at lower temperatures exhibit continuous film structure: strong oscillations in the GISAXS intensity are present especially in the capped samples. At higher temperatures enhanced surface dewetting and Cu nanoparticles (nanoislands) formation partially destroy the flatness of the interface. Therefore the particle type of scattering is enhanced, while the film fringes are depleted. However, capping layer hinders particle formation, and continuous film structure is preserved up to higher annealing temperatures (visible as strong and persistent fringes in GISAXS), compared to the non- capped samples. According to GISAXS, lateral particle sizes are reduced at higher temperatures, while particle height is increasing. This is ascribed to close packing of the formed particles at lower temperatures, and GISAXS deduced sizes are partially the result of the particle agglomerate dimensions. Lateral maxima in GISAXS are an indication of good positional correlation, and the particle to particle distance is increased as the particles grow with temperature elevation. This coordination is much stronger in the capped and lower temperature deposited samples. The dewetting is much more vigorous in the non-capped sample, and since nanoparticles are formed in a range of sizes, correlation is receding both with deposition and annealing temperature. Surface topology was checked by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Capped sample's surfaces were smoother and lateral size of the surface features were larger compared to the non-capped samples. Altogether, AFM results suggest somewhat larger particles and wider size distribution, and this can be attributed to the difference in probe size. Finally, the plasmonic effect was monitored by UV-Vis reflectance spectroscopy, and relative weak plasmonic effect could be explained by uncomplete dewetting or partial interconnection of the formed particles.

Keywords: coper, GISAXS, nanoparticles, plasmonics

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