ABSTRACT: Fluorescence spectroscopy is widely used in chemical and biological research. Until recently most of the fluorescence experiments have been performed in the far-field regime. By far-field we imply at least several wavelengths from the fluorescent probe molecule. In recent years there has been growing interest in the interactions of fluorophores with metallic surfaces or particles. Near-field interactions are those occurring within a wavelength distance of an excited fluorophore. The spectral properties of fluorophores can dramatically be altered by near-field interactions with the electron clouds present in metals. These interactions modify the emission in ways not seen in classical fluorescence experiments. Fluorophores in the excited state can create plasmons that radiate into the far-field and fluorophores in the ground state can interact with and be excited by surface plasmons. These reciprocal interactions suggest that the novel optical absorption and scattering properties of metallic nanostructures can be used to control the decay rates, location, and direction of fluorophore emission. We refer to these phenomena as plasmon-controlled fluorescence (PCF). An overview of the recent work on metal-fluorophore interactions is presented. Recent research combining plasmonics and fluorescence suggest that PCF could lead to new classes of experimental procedures, novel probes, bioassays, and devices.
Advances in biochemical engineering/biotechnology 11/2008; 116:29-72. · 1.64 Impact Factor