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!
Hubble sees the brightest quasar in the early Universe
10.01.2019 | ESA/Hubble Information Centre
Mission completed – EU partners successfully test new technologies for space robots in Morocco
10.01.2019 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI
Just in time for Christmas, a Mars-analogue mission in Morocco, coordinated by the Robotics Innovation Center of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) as part of the SRC project FACILITATORS, has been successfully completed. SRC, the Strategic Research Cluster on Space Robotics Technologies, is a program of the European Union to support research and development in space technologies. From mid-November to mid-December 2018, a team of more than 30 scientists from 11 countries tested technologies for future exploration of Mars and Moon in the desert of the Maghreb state.
Close to the border with Algeria, the Erfoud region in Morocco – known to tourists for its impressive sand dunes – offered ideal conditions for the four-week...
Research opens doors in photonic quantum information processing, optical signal processing and microwave photonics
Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a new integrated photonics platform that can...
A team of experimentalists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and theoreticians at University of Alabama Birmingham discovered a remarkably long-lived new state of matter in an iron pnictide superconductor, which reveals a laser-induced formation of collective behaviors that compete with superconductivity.
"Superconductivity is a strange state of matter, in which the pairing of electrons makes them move faster," said Jigang Wang, Ames Laboratory physicist and...
Some patients with breast cancer receive chemotherapy before the tumor is removed with surgery. This approach, called 'neoadjuvant' therapy, helps to reduce the size of the tumor to facilitate breast-conserving surgery, and can even eradicate the tumor, leaving few or no cancerous cells for the surgeon to remove. In those cases, the patients are very likely to remain cancer-free for life after surgery.
But not all tumors shrink under chemotherapy. If the tumor resists neoadjuvant therapy, there can be a higher risk of developing metastatic disease, meaning...
During the conversion of light into electricity, such as in solar cells, a large part of the input light energy is lost. This is due to the behaviour of...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
10.01.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
10.01.2019 | Information Technology
10.01.2019 | Life Sciences