Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

Search results for: plasmonics.

11 Study on Fabrication of Surface Functional Micro and Nanostructures by Femtosecond Laser

Authors: Shengzhu Cao, Hui Zhou, Gan Wu, Lanxi Wanhg, Kaifeng Zhang, Rui Wang, Hu Wang


The functional micro and nanostructures, which can endow material surface with unique properties such as super-absorptance, hydrophobic and drag reduction. Recently, femtosecond laser ablation has been demonstrated to be a promising technology for surface functional micro and nanostructures fabrication. In this paper, using femtosecond laser ablation processing technique, we fabricated functional micro and nanostructures on Ti and Al alloy surfaces, test results showed that processed surfaces have 82%~96% absorptance over a broad wavelength range from ultraviolet to infrared. The surface function properties, which determined by micro and nanostructures, could be modulated by variation laser parameters. These functional surfaces may find applications in such areas as photonics, plasmonics, spaceborne devices, thermal radiation sources, solar energy absorbers and biomedicine.

Keywords: surface functional, micro and nanostructures, femtosecond laser, ablation

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10 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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9 Ultrastrong Coupling of CdZnS/ZnS Quantum Dots and Breathing Plasmons in Aluminum Metal-Insulator-Metal Nanocavities in Near-Ultraviolet Spectrum

Authors: Li Li, Lei Wang, Chenglin Du, Mengxin Ren, Xinzheng Zhang, Wei Cai, Jingjun Xu


Strong coupling between excitons of quantum dots and plasmons in nanocavites can be realized at room temperature due to the strong confinement of the plasmon fields, which offers building blocks for quantum information systems or ultralow-power switches and lasers. In this work, by using cathodoluminescence, ultrastrong coupling with Rabi splitting above 1 eV between breathing plasmons in Aluminum metal-insulator-metal (MIM) cavity and excited state of CdZnS/ZnS quantum dots was reported in near-UV spectrum. Analytic analysis and full-wave electromagnetic simulations provide the evidence for the strong coupling and confirm the hybridization of the QDs exciton and LSP breathing mode. This study opens the way for new emerging applications based on strongly coupled light-matter states all over the visible region down to ultra-violet frequencies.

Keywords: breathing mode, plasmonics, quantum dot, strong coupling, ultraviolet

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8 Optimal Configuration for Polarimetric Surface Plasmon Resonance Sensors

Authors: Ibrahim Watad, Ibrahim Abdulhalim


Conventional spectroscopic surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensors are widely used, both in fundamental research and environmental monitoring as well as healthcare diagnostics. However, they still lack the low limit of detection (LOD) and there still a place for improvement. SPR conventional sensors are based on the detection of a dip in the reflectivity spectrum which is relatively wide. To improve the performance of these sensors, many techniques and methods proposed either to reduce the width of the dip or to increase the sensitivity. Together with that, profiting from the sharp jump in the phase spectrum under SPR, several works suggested the extraction of the phase of the reflected wave. However, existing phase measurement setups are in general more complicated compared to the conventional setups, require more stability and are very sensitive to external vibrations and noises. In this study, a simple polarimetric technique for phase extraction under SPR is presented, followed by a theoretical error analysis and an experimental verification. The advantages of the proposed technique upon existing techniques will be elaborated, together with conclusions regarding the best polarimetric function, and its corresponding optimal metal layer range of thicknesses to use under the conventional Kretschmann-Raether configuration.

Keywords: plasmonics, polarimetry, thin films, optical sensors

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7 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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6 Influence of Laser Excitation on SERS of Silicon Nanocrystals

Authors: Khamael M. Abualnaja, Lidija Šiller, Ben R. Horrocks


Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) of Silicon nano crystals (SiNCs) were obtained using two different laser excitations: 488 nm and 514.5 nm. Silver nano particles were used as plasmonics metal nano particles due to a robust SERS effect that observed when they mixed with SiNCs. SiNCs have been characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). It is found that the SiNCs are crystalline with an average diameter of 65 nm and FCC lattice. Silver nano particles (AgNPs) of two different sizes were synthesized using photo chemical reduction of AgNO3 with sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS). The synthesized AgNPs have a polycrystalline structure with an average particle diameter of 100 nm and 30 nm, respectively. A significant enhancement in the SERS intensity was observed for AgNPs100/SiNCs and AgNPs30/SiNCs mixtures increasing up to 9 and 3 times respectively using 488 nm intensity; whereas the intensity of the SERS signal increased up to 7 and 2 times respectively, using 514.5 nm excitation source. The enhancement in SERS intensities occurs as a result of the coupling between the excitation laser light and the plasmon bands of AgNPs; thus this intense field at AgNPs surface couples strongly to SiNCs. The results provide good consensus between the wavelength of the laser excitation source and surface plasmon resonance absorption band of silver nano particles consider to be an important requirement in SERS experiments.

Keywords: silicon nanocrystals (SiNCs), silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), surface enhanced raman spectroscopy (SERS)

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5 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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4 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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3 Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) as Multiplex Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering Sensing Platforms

Authors: Pola Goldberg Oppenheimer, Stephan Hofmann, Sumeet Mahajan


Owing to its fingerprint molecular specificity and high sensitivity, surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) is an established analytical tool for chemical and biological sensing capable of single-molecule detection. A strong Raman signal can be generated from SERS-active platforms given the analyte is within the enhanced plasmon field generated near a noble-metal nanostructured substrate. The key requirement for generating strong plasmon resonances to provide this electromagnetic enhancement is an appropriate metal surface roughness. Controlling nanoscale features for generating these regions of high electromagnetic enhancement, the so-called SERS ‘hot-spots’, is still a challenge. Significant advances have been made in SERS research, with wide-ranging techniques to generate substrates with tunable size and shape of the nanoscale roughness features. Nevertheless, the development and application of SERS has been inhibited by the irreproducibility and complexity of fabrication routes. The ability to generate straightforward, cost-effective, multiplex-able and addressable SERS substrates with high enhancements is of profound interest for miniaturised sensing devices. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been concurrently, a topic of extensive research however, their applications for plasmonics has been only recently beginning to gain interest. CNTs can provide low-cost, large-active-area patternable substrates which, coupled with appropriate functionalization capable to provide advanced SERS-platforms. Herein, advanced methods to generate CNT-based SERS active detection platforms will be discussed. First, a novel electrohydrodynamic (EHD) lithographic technique will be introduced for patterning CNT-polymer composites, providing a straightforward, single-step approach for generating high-fidelity sub-micron-sized nanocomposite structures within which anisotropic CNTs are vertically aligned. The created structures are readily fine-tuned, which is an important requirement for optimizing SERS to obtain the highest enhancements with each of the EHD-CNTs individual structural units functioning as an isolated sensor. Further, gold-functionalized VACNTFs are fabricated as SERS micro-platforms. The dependence on the VACNTs’ diameters and density play an important role in the Raman signal strength, thus highlighting the importance of structural parameters, previously overlooked in designing and fabricating optimized CNTs-based SERS nanoprobes. VACNTs forests patterned into predesigned pillar structures are further utilized for multiplex detection of bio-analytes. Since CNTs exhibit electrical conductivity and unique adsorption properties, these are further harnessed in the development of novel chemical and bio-sensing platforms.

Keywords: carbon nanotubes (CNTs), EHD patterning, SERS, vertically aligned carbon nanotube forests (VACNTF)

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2 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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1 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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