Scientists from the University of Bath (UK) and Northwestern University (USA) have developed a new type of sensor platform using a gold nanoparticle array, which is 100 times more sensitive than current similar sensors.
The sensor is made up of a series of gold disk-shaped nanoparticles on a glass slide. The team at Bath discovered that when they shone an infra-red laser at a precise arrangement of the particles, they started to emit unusual amounts of ultra violet (UV) light.
This mechanism for generating UV light is affected by molecules binding to the surface of the nanoparticles, providing a means of sensing a very small amount of material.
The researchers, from the University of Bath's Department of Physics, hope that in the future they can use the technology to develop new ultra-sensitive sensors for air pollution or for medical diagnostics.
Dr Ventsislav Valev, Royal Society Research Fellow and Reader in Physics at the University of Bath, led the work with Research Associate David Hooper.
He explained: "This new mechanism has great potential for detecting small molecules. It is 100 times more sensitive than current methods.
"The gold nanoparticle disks are arranged on a glass slide in a very precise array - changing the thickness and separation of the disks completely changes the detected signal.
"When molecules bind to the surface of a gold nanoparticle, they affect the electrons at the gold surface, causing them to change the amount of UV light they emit.
"The amount of UV light emitted would depend on the type of molecules that bind to the surface.
"This technique could enable ultra-sensitive detection of molecules in tiny volumes. It could in the future be used for detecting very low concentrations of biological markers for the early diagnostic screening for diseases, such as cancer."
The study has demonstrated the proof of principle for this new sensing mechanism. The team would next like to test the sensing of various types of chemicals and expects the technique to be available to other scientists to use within five years.
The nanoparticles were fabricated by researchers at Northwestern University, Illinois (USA).
David C. Hooper, Christian Kuppe, Danqing Wang, Weijia Wang, Jun Guan, Teri W. Odom, and Ventsislav K. Valev (2019) "Second Harmonic Spectroscopy of Surface Lattice Resonances" is published in Nano Letters DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.8b03574
Vicky Just | EurekAlert!
MOF@SAW: Nanoquakes and molecular sponges for weighing and separating tiny masses
22.07.2019 | Universität Augsburg
Bridging the nanoscale gap: A deep look inside atomic switches
22.07.2019 | Tokyo Institute of Technology
Augsburg chemists and physicists report how they have succeeded in the extremely difficult separation of hydrogen and deuterium in a gas mixture.
Thanks to the Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology developed here and already widely used, the University of Augsburg is internationally recognized as the...
Adjusting the thermal conductivity of materials is one of the challenges nanoscience is currently facing. Together with colleagues from the Netherlands and Spain, researchers from the University of Basel have shown that the atomic vibrations that determine heat generation in nanowires can be controlled through the arrangement of atoms alone. The scientists will publish the results shortly in the journal Nano Letters.
In the electronics and computer industry, components are becoming ever smaller and more powerful. However, there are problems with the heat generation. It is...
Scientists have visualised the electronic structure in a microelectronic device for the first time, opening up opportunities for finely-tuned high performance electronic devices.
Physicists from the University of Warwick and the University of Washington have developed a technique to measure the energy and momentum of electrons in...
Scientists at the University Würzburg and University Hospital of Würzburg found that megakaryocytes act as “bouncers” and thus modulate bone marrow niche properties and cell migration dynamics. The study was published in July in the Journal “Haematologica”.
Hematopoiesis is the process of forming blood cells, which occurs predominantly in the bone marrow. The bone marrow produces all types of blood cells: red...
For some phenomena in quantum many-body physics several competing theories exist. But which of them describes a quantum phenomenon best? A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Harvard University in the United States has now successfully deployed artificial neural networks for image analysis of quantum systems.
Is that a dog or a cat? Such a classification is a prime example of machine learning: artificial neural networks can be trained to analyze images by looking...
24.06.2019 | Event News
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
22.07.2019 | Information Technology
22.07.2019 | Health and Medicine
22.07.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering