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See detailRecent advances on plasmonic nanocavities for single-molecule spectroscopy
Maccaferri, Nicolò UL; Barbillon, Grégory; Koya, Alemayehu Nana et al

in Nanoscale Advances (2021), 3

Plasmonic nanocavities are able to engineer and confine electromagnetic fields into subwavelength volumes. In the past decade, they have enabled a large set of applications, in particular for sensing ... [more ▼]

Plasmonic nanocavities are able to engineer and confine electromagnetic fields into subwavelength volumes. In the past decade, they have enabled a large set of applications, in particular for sensing, optical trapping, as well as the investigation of physical and chemical phenomena at a few or single-molecule levels. This extreme sensitivity is possible thanks to the highly confined local field intensity enhancement, which depends on the geometry of the plasmonic nanocavities. Indeed, properly designed structures providing engineered local optical fields lead to enhanced optical sensing based on different phenomena like surface enhanced Raman scattering, fluorescence, and Förster Resonant Energy Transfer. In this mini-review, we illustrate the most recent results on plasmonic nanocavities, with specific emphasis on the detection of single molecules. [less ▲]

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See detailA hybrid metal–dielectric zero mode waveguide for enhanced single molecule detection
Zambrana-Puyalto, Xavier; Ponzellini, Paolo; Maccaferri, Nicolò UL et al

in Chemical Communications (2019)

We fabricated hybrid metal–dielectric nanoslots and measured their optical response at three different wavelengths. The nanostructure is fabricated on a bilayer film formed by the sequential deposition of ... [more ▼]

We fabricated hybrid metal–dielectric nanoslots and measured their optical response at three different wavelengths. The nanostructure is fabricated on a bilayer film formed by the sequential deposition of silicon and gold on a transparent substrate. The optical characterization is done via fluorescence spectroscopy measurements. We characterized the fluorescence enhancement, as well as the lifetime and the detection volume reduction for each wavelength. We observe that the hybrid metal–dielectric nanoslots behave as enhanced zero mode waveguides in the near-infrared spectral region. Their detection volume is such that they can perform enhanced single-molecule detection at tens of μM. We compared their behavior with that of a golden ZMW, and we demonstrated that the dielectric silicon layer improves both the optical performance and the stability of the device. [less ▲]

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