Probing Dynamically Tunable Localized Surface Plasmon Resonances of Film-Coupled Nanoparticles by Evanescent Wave Excitation

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA.
Nano Letters (Impact Factor: 13.59). 03/2012; 12(4):1757-64. DOI: 10.1021/nl204596h
Source: PubMed


The localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) spectrum associated with a gold nanoparticle (NP) coupled to a gold film exhibits extreme sensitivity to the nanogap region where the fields are tightly localized. The LSPR of an ensemble of film-coupled NPs can be observed using an illumination scheme similar to that used to excite the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) of a thin metallic film; however, in the present system, the light is used to probe the highly sensitive distance-dependent LSPR of the gaps between NPs and film rather than the delocalized SPR of the film. We show that the SPR and LSPR spectral contributions can be readily distinguished, and we compare the sensitivities of both modes to displacements in the average gap between a collection of NPs and the gold film. The distance by which the NPs are suspended in solution above the gold film is fixed via a thin molecular spacer layer and can be further modulated by subjecting the NPs to a quasistatic electric field. The observed LSPR spectral shifts triggered by the applied voltage can be correlated with angstrom scale displacements of the NPs, suggesting the potential for chip-scale or flow-cell plasmonic nanoruler devices with extreme sensitivity.

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