Reversible Gating of Plasmonic Coupling for Optical Signal Amplification.
Amplification of optical signals is useful for a wide variety of applications, ranging from data signal transmission to chemical sensing and biomedical diagnostics. One such application in chemical sensing is surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), an important technique for increasing the Raman signal using the plasmonic effect of enhanced electromagnetic fields associated with metallic nanostructures. One of the most important limitations of SERS-based amplification is the difficulty to reproducibly control the SERS signal. Here, we describe the design and implementation of a unique hybrid system capable of producing reversible gating of plasmonic coupling for Raman signal amplification. The hybrid system is composed of two subsystems: (1) colloidal magneto-plasmonic nanoparticles for SERS enhancement and (2) a micromagnet substrate with an externally applied magnetic field to modulate the colloidal nanoparticles. For this proof of concept demonstration, the nanoparticles were labeled with a Raman-active dye, and it was shown that the detected SERS signal could be reproducibly modulated by controlling the externally applied magnetic field. The developed system provides a simple, robust, inexpensive, and reusable device for SERS signal modulation. These properties will open up new possibilities for optical signal amplification and gating as well for high-throughput, reproducible SERS detection.
Khoury, CG; Fales, AM; Vo-Dinh, T
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