Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Sculptured materials allow multiple channel plasmonic sensors

Akhlesh Lakhtakia
Akhlesh Lakhtakia

Abstract:
Sensors, communications devices and imaging equipment that use a prism and a special form of light -- a surface plasmon-polariton -- may incorporate multiple channels or redundant applications if manufacturers use sculptured thin films.

Sculptured materials allow multiple channel plasmonic sensors

University Park, PA | Posted on November 11th, 2009

"Everyone uses surface plasmon resonance sensors. They are a multi billion-dollar industry worldwide," said Akhlesh Lakhtakia, the Charles Godfrey Binder (Endowed) professor of engineering science and mechanics, Penn State. "This type of sensor provides a fairly quick way to see what you have. It can tell you the concentration of chemicals, but in order to test for more than one chemical today, manufacturers have to use more than one sensor."

Surface plasmon resonance devices currently have a wide range of applications. They are commercially used as sensors for humidity, temperature, chemical concentrations and chemical composition. SPR devices can be used in a form of surface microscopy, as wave guides and tunable filters. Creating two or more channels in each device would multiply SPR utility in all areas of application.

Surface plasmon-polaritons are electromagnetic waves that flow along a sandwich of a metal and a dielectric. When light shines through a prism onto the sandwich, electrons form a cloud or plasma in the metal and the molecules of the dielectric get stretched or polarized. Under special conditions, a plasmon-polariton combination forms and moves as a single unit along the sandwich. The formation can be disturbed by the presence of an additional chemical in the dielectric. The disturbance provides the sensing principle. Useful as they are, each sensor can only detect one chemical for each prism and sandwich.

In a series of papers Lakhtakia and his colleagues report on their theoretical and experimental investigation into the possibility of propagating more than one surface plasmon-polariton wave of the same color on a substrate. They recently reported on their experimental work in the Journal of Nanophotonics and the journal Electonic Letters.

The theoretical work indicated that for one wavelength or color of light, it should be possible to generate not just one, but up to three possible plasmon-polaritons if the dielectric used is not a traditional material, but a periodically non-homogeneous sculptured nematic thin film.

"Just because the mathematics suggest three possible surface plasmon-polariton waves does not mean that they can actually all be created," said Lakhtakia. "We had to find someone who could produce the thin films that we needed to test the possibilities experimentally."

Yi-Jun Jen, professor and chair, and Chia-Feng Lin, graduate student, both of the department of electro-optical engineering, National Taipei University of Technology, fabricated the sculptured nematic thin films that were then used in a standard Kretschmann surface plasma resonance sensor configuration. The researchers found that they produced three surface plasmon-polariton waves of light with the same wavelength or color, but with three different speeds. Two of these were polarized in one direction -- p polarized -- and the third was polarized in the other direction - s polarized.

"This would allow us to test more than two things or to test for the same thing twice in order to reduce sensing errors," said Lakhtakia.

The key to this finding is that sculptured thin films are not the same structure along their thickness. Instead, the pattern of sculpturing does periodically repeat. This periodicity allows the production of two or more surface waves of the same wavelength.

Lakhtakia, working with Devender, an international undergraduate research intern and Drew Patrick Pulsifer, graduated student in engineering science and mechanics, next tried a chiral sculptured thin film. Chiral thin films are similar to periodic sculptured nematic thin films but are like a multitude of parallel corkscrews. Using these thin films the researchers generated two surface plasmon-polaritons waves, but with different speeds, both with p-polarized light.

"If this approach can be optimized and commercialized, there are exciting prospects in store for plasmonic-based sensing, imaging and communications," said Lakhtakia.

####

About Penn State
Penn State is a multicampus public research university that educates students from Pennsylvania, the nation and the world, and improves the well being and health of individuals and communities through integrated programs of teaching, research, and service.

Our instructional mission includes undergraduate, graduate, professional, and continuing education offered through both resident instruction and online delivery. Our educational programs are enriched by the cutting edge knowledge, diversity, and creativity of our faculty, students, and staff.

Our research, scholarship, and creative activity promote human and economic development, global understanding, and progress in professional practice through the expansion of knowledge and its applications in the natural and applied sciences, social sciences, arts, humanities, and the professions.

As Pennsylvania's land-grant university, we provide unparalleled access and public service to support the citizens of the Commonwealth. We engage in collaborative activities with industrial, educational, and agricultural partners here and abroad to generate, disseminate, integrate, and apply knowledge that is valuable to society.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Andrea Messer
814-865-9481
live.psu.edu

Copyright © Penn State

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Scientists find a way of acquiring graphene-like films from salts to boost nanoelectronics: Physicists use supercomputers to find a way of making 'imitation graphene' from salt July 30th, 2016

Vortex laser offers hope for Moore's Law: The optics advancement may solve an approaching data bottleneck by helping to boost computing power and information transfer rates tenfold July 30th, 2016

New method for making green LEDs enhances their efficiency and brightness July 30th, 2016

A new type of quantum bits July 29th, 2016

Lonely atoms, happily reunited July 29th, 2016

Thin films

Scientists find a way of acquiring graphene-like films from salts to boost nanoelectronics: Physicists use supercomputers to find a way of making 'imitation graphene' from salt July 30th, 2016

Imaging

Lonely atoms, happily reunited July 29th, 2016

Pixel-array quantum cascade detector paves the way for portable thermal imaging devices: Research team from TU-Wien Center for Micro- and Nanostructures have developed a new 'cooler' sensing instrument thereby increasing energy-efficiency and enhancing mobility for diagnostic tes July 28th, 2016

WSU researchers 'watch' crystal structure change in real time: Breakthrough made possible by new Argonne facility July 27th, 2016

Chemistry

Lonely atoms, happily reunited July 29th, 2016

Possible Futures

Scientists find a way of acquiring graphene-like films from salts to boost nanoelectronics: Physicists use supercomputers to find a way of making 'imitation graphene' from salt July 30th, 2016

Vortex laser offers hope for Moore's Law: The optics advancement may solve an approaching data bottleneck by helping to boost computing power and information transfer rates tenfold July 30th, 2016

New method for making green LEDs enhances their efficiency and brightness July 30th, 2016

Novel state of matter: Observation of a quantum spin liquid July 29th, 2016

Sensors

Ultrasensitive sensor using N-doped graphene July 26th, 2016

Integration of novel materials with silicon chips makes new 'smart' devices possible July 25th, 2016

Electron 'spin control' of levitated nanodiamonds could bring advances in sensors, quantum information processing July 20th, 2016

Easier, faster, cheaper: A full-filling approach to making nanotubes of consistent quality: Approach opens a straightforward route for engineering the properties of single-wall carbon nanotubes July 19th, 2016

Announcements

Scientists find a way of acquiring graphene-like films from salts to boost nanoelectronics: Physicists use supercomputers to find a way of making 'imitation graphene' from salt July 30th, 2016

Vortex laser offers hope for Moore's Law: The optics advancement may solve an approaching data bottleneck by helping to boost computing power and information transfer rates tenfold July 30th, 2016

New method for making green LEDs enhances their efficiency and brightness July 30th, 2016

A new type of quantum bits July 29th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic