Surface-Based Nanoplasmonic Sensors for Biointerfacial Science Applications

October 2, 2019

The interaction of light with metallic nanostructures has long played an important role in endowing materials with unique properties, such as ancient glassware that contained trace amounts of metallic nanoparticles and exhibited different colors depending on the orientation of light illumination.1 In modern times, such properties have proven equally fascinating as we seek to understand and take advantage of the underlying physical phenomena for scientific advancement.2 In short, light can induce the coherent oscillation of free electrons in a metallic nanostructure (“plasmons”), leading to the generation of an enhanced electromagnetic field that is useful for sensing applications.3,4 Experimental studies on solution-phase nanoparticles with different physicochemical properties — among them, material composition, size, and shape — have refined our understanding of how nanostructures can exhibit plasmonic properties and led to the creation of the nanoplasmonics field.5,6 Ongoing advances in nanofabrication capabilities7 and design concepts such as nanoarchitectonics8 have further spurred the development of surface-based nanoplasmonic sensors with highly surface-sensitive measurement capabilities.912 Compared to other classes of surface-sensitive measurement techniques, nanoplasmonic sensors have several competitive advantages, including simple instrumental requirements, high environmental stability, fast response time, and label-free detection. Thus, there is great interest in surface-based nanoplasmonic sensors, and our laboratory has focused on utilizing them for biointerfacial science applications.

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