[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe here soft nanofabrication methods using spin-on glass (SOG) materials for the fabrication of both bulk materials and replica masters. The precision of soft nanofabrication using SOG is tested using features on size scales ranging from 0.6 nm to 1.0 μm. The performance of the embossed optics is tested quantitatively via replica patterning of new classes of plasmonic crystals formed by soft nanoimprinting of SOG. These crystals are found to offer significant improvements over previously reported plasmonic crystals fabricated using embossed polymeric substrate materials in several ways. The SOG structures are shown to be particularly robust, being stable in organic solvent environments and at high temperatures (∼450 °C), thus extending the capacities and scope of plasmonic crystal applications to sensing in these environments. They also provide a stable, and particularly high-performance, platform for surface-enhanced Raman scattering. We further illustrate that SOG embossed nanostructures can serve as regenerable masters for the fabrication of plasmonic crystals. Perhaps most significantly, we show how the design rules of plasmonic crystals replicated from a single master can be tuned during the embossing steps of the fabrication process to provide useful modifications of their optical responses. We illustrate how the strongest feature in the transmission spectrum of a plasmonic crystal formed using a single SOG master can be shifted precisely in a SOG replica between 700 and 900 nm for an exemplary design of a full 3D plasmonic crystal by careful manipulation of the process parameters used to fabricate the optical device.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe a class of plasmonic crystal that consists of square arrays of nanoposts formed by soft nanoimprint lithography. As sensors, these structure show somewhat higher bulk refractive index sensitivity for aqueous solutions in the visible wavelength range as compared to plasmonic crystals consisting of square arrays of nanowells with similar dimensions, with opposite trends for the case of surface bound layers in air. Three-dimensional finite-difference time-domain simulations quantitatively capture the key features and assist in the interpretation of these and related results.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This work provides plasmonic crystal platforms for quantitative imaging mode biosensing and multispectral immunoassays, establishing and validating both the optical and equilibrium bases for their operation. We investigated the distance-dependent refractive index sensitivity of full 3D plasmonic crystals to thin polymeric films formed using layer by layer (LbL) assembly of polyelectrolytes as a model system. LbL was also used to determine the preferred gold thickness and plasmonic crystal design rules (nanowell diameter and periodicity) for improved thin-film sensitivity, and full 3D finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) calculations were used to quantitatively model and confirm the experimentally observed thin film sensitivities. The integrated multispectral response of the crystals increases approximately linearly with film thickness for values <70 nm, which enables the use of molecular rulers with known thicknesses (such as self-assembled monolayers of alkanethiols on gold) to calibrate these optics for quantitative detection and speciation of surface binding events in a multiplexed imaging format. The utility of these sensors and multispectral analysis for applications in quantitative biosensing was further demonstrated by measuring the equilibrium response curve of an antibody/antigen pair (rabbit antigoat IgG/goat IgG) at increasing antigen concentrations. Fitting the integrated response to a Langmuir isotherm yielded a calculated binding constant on the order of approximately 10(7) M(-1), which is in agreement with the affinity constants reported in the literature for anti-IgG/IgG binding pairs and provides intrinsic detection limits of approximately 400 pM for such unamplified assays.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We study the refractive index sensitive transmission of a 3D plasmonic crystal that consists of a square array of subwavelength cylindrical nanowells in a polymer conformally coated with a gold film. Using extensive 3D finite-difference time-domain simulations, we investigate the effect of system parameters such as periodicity, well diameter and depth, and metal thickness on its refractive index sensitivity. These theoretical results are also confirmed experimentally in some cases. Our calculations predict an enhancement in sensitivity by an order of magnitude when the plasmonic crystal characteristics are optimized.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper describes composite patterning elements that use a commercially available acryloxy perfluoropolyether (a-PFPE) in various soft lithographic techniques, including microcontact printing, nanotransfer printing, phase-shift optical lithography, proximity field nanopatterning, molecular scale soft nanoimprinting, and solvent assisted micromolding. The a-PFPE material, which is similar to a methacryloxy PFPE (PFPE-DMA) reported recently, offers a combination of high modulus (10.5 MPa), low surface energy (18.5 mNm(-1)), chemical inertness, and resistance to solvent induced swelling that make it useful for producing high fidelity patterns with these soft lithographic methods. The results are comparable to, and in some cases even better than, those obtained with the more widely explored material, high modulus poly(dimethylsiloxane) (h-PDMS).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper describes an approach for using conventional photoresist materials to pattern structures with dimensions as small as 50 nm. This method, known as near field phase shift lithography (NFPSL), is an experimentally simple approach to nanofabrication that relies on ultraviolet exposure of a layer of resist while it is in conformal, atomic scale contact with such an elastomeric phase mask. This paper presents some representative structures produced with this method; it illustrates an example of its use in patterning the critical dimensions of organic transistors; and it outlines some new modeling results of the optics associated with this technique.
Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry. 01/2004; 166:149-154.