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Enhanced Spectral Sensing by Electromagnetic Coupling With Localized Surface Plasmons on Subwavelength Structures

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4 Author(s)
Roper, D.K. ; Dept. of Chem. Eng., Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, USA ; Ahn, Wonmi ; Taylor, B. ; Dall'Asen, A.G.

Existing sensor platforms have limited sensitivity, specificity, and portability. With a new algorithm for the coupled dipole approximation of Maxwell's equations, we examine near- and far-field features of electromagnetism (EM) coupled with localized surface plasmons on subwavelength, solid-state nanoparticle (NP) structures measured using spectroscopy, microscopy, and calorimetry. Near-field extinction efficiency, blue/redshifts, and full-width at half-maximum are optimized using a new ¿bottom-up¿ NP assembly method that tunes particle size and spacing to enhance sensitivity and produce molecule-specific ¿tenfold surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy enhancements. Far-field plasmon-photon resonances are identified, which offer ¿ 106-fold higher sensitivity. Solid-state NP structures increase stability, reduce power consumption, and improve response time and optothermal transduction up to tenfold for better portability and throughput relative to aggregation-prone NP suspensions. Sample rate is increased ¿tenfold by inducing transverse hydrodynamic diffusion adjacent to sensor interfaces. These results guide development of next-generation chemical and biological sensors based on EM-coupled UV, Raman, or terahertz modes that improve sensitivity, biospecificity, stability, and portability to distinguish biological molecules and species at high throughputs.

Published in:

Sensors Journal, IEEE  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 3 )