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

Searching for errors in the quantum world September 21st, 2018

Viral RNA sensing: Optical detection of picomolar concentrations of RNA using switches in plasmonic chirality September 21st, 2018

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

Nanobiotix: Update on Head and Neck Phase I/II Trial with NBTXR3 and Other program data presented at ImmunoRad 2018 September 20th, 2018

Researchers develop microbubble scrubber to destroy dangerous biofilms September 19th, 2018

Imaging

Viral RNA sensing: Optical detection of picomolar concentrations of RNA using switches in plasmonic chirality September 21st, 2018

Tiny camera lens may help link quantum computers to network September 14th, 2018

Carbon nanodots do an ultrafine job with in vitro lung tissue: New experiments highlight the role of charge and size when it comes to carbon nanodots that mimic the effect of nanoscale pollution particles on the human lung. September 12th, 2018

Terahertz spectroscopy enters the single-molecule regime September 7th, 2018

Chemistry

Halas wins American Chemical Society Award in Colloid Chemistry: Rice University nanophotonics pioneer honored for colloid research September 18th, 2018

How a tetrahedral substance can be more symmetrical than a spherical atom: A new type of symmetry September 14th, 2018

Terahertz spectroscopy enters the single-molecule regime September 7th, 2018

Thin films

Laser sintering optimized for printed electronics: New study sheds (laser) light on the best means of laying down thin-film circuitry September 13th, 2018

Possible Futures

Searching for errors in the quantum world September 21st, 2018

Viral RNA sensing: Optical detection of picomolar concentrations of RNA using switches in plasmonic chirality September 21st, 2018

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

Leti Announces EU Project to Develop Powerful, Inexpensive Sensors with Photonic Integrated Circuits: REDFINCH Members Initially Targeting Applications for Gas Detection and Analysis For Refineries & Petrochemical Industry and Protein Analysis for Dairy Industry September 19th, 2018

Sensors

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

Leti Announces EU Project to Develop Powerful, Inexpensive Sensors with Photonic Integrated Circuits: REDFINCH Members Initially Targeting Applications for Gas Detection and Analysis For Refineries & Petrochemical Industry and Protein Analysis for Dairy Industry September 19th, 2018

Rice U. lab probes molecular limit of plasmonics: Optical effect detailed in organic molecules with fewer than 50 atoms September 5th, 2018

Measuring the nanoworld September 4th, 2018

Announcements

Searching for errors in the quantum world September 21st, 2018

Viral RNA sensing: Optical detection of picomolar concentrations of RNA using switches in plasmonic chirality September 21st, 2018

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

Nanobiotix: Update on Head and Neck Phase I/II Trial with NBTXR3 and Other program data presented at ImmunoRad 2018 September 20th, 2018

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project