Fabrication, Characterisation and Nanophotonic Applications of Plasmonic Waveguides made of Metallic Nanorod Arrays

Lead Research Organisation: Queen's University of Belfast
Department Name: Sch of Mathematics and Physics

Abstract

Highly integrated optical devices and sensors, which enable guidance and manipulation of light at the nanoscale, require structural elements smaller than the operating wavelength designed with a nanometer-scale-controlled resolution. One of the basic building blocks for such optical components relies on the resonant coupling between photons and the electrons residing in nanoscale gold and silver particles. These resonances are called Localized Surface Plasmons (LSPs) and can be excited by illuminating the nanoparticle with light at a frequency determined by the size and shape of the nanoparticle as well as by material properties. In linear chains made of nanoparticles, these localised plasmon modes become delocalized along the chain due to the near-field electromagnetic interaction between the nanoparticles. This interaction allows for electromagnetic energy to be efficiently exchanged between the nanoparticles in the chain and thus for light to propagate from one end of the chain to the other. This kind of metallic nanoparticle chain is called a Surface Plasmon Particle Waveguide (SPPW) and enables light guiding determined by the size of the nanoparticles.The use of SPPWs opens up new and unique opportunities over current microscale photonic devices based on waveguiding properties of photonic crystals and stripe surface polariton waveguides because of the near-field nature of the interaction processes on which the guided surface plasmon modes are built up from. These near-field processes are relevant at short distances only (typically a few nanometers) and are therefore not dramatically sensitive to abrupt directional changes that take place within the guide at the single particle scale when high-density device integration is sought. To date poor near-field coupling efficiencies within the waveguide, leading to low waveguide transmittance, and expensive processing techniques have limited the development and applicability of this technology.The present research proposal will address these two prohibiting factors in an attempt to develop a waveguide design that improves both the guiding properties of metal-nanoparticles waveguides and allows for an industry-suitable manufacturing process to be implemented. Specifically, we propose an easy to produce, templated-based SPPW geometry made from interacting nanorods grown perpendicular to a substrate. The obtained SPPWs will be characterized both structurally and optically to be then used to create one all-optical active device.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Protocols for the uniform production of free-standing noble metal nanorod and nanotube arrays over several square centimeters were developed.

A detailed understanding of the propagation of electromagnetic radiation in such structures was obtained.

Au nanorod and nanotube arrays were shown to have great promise for label free detection of biomolecules.
Exploitation Route The nanostructures and modelling techniques developed in this work have resulted in publications that are widely cited by other research workers. They are of relevence to many groups hoping to exploit the emerging new field of plasmonics.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

 
Description The nanostructures first developed in this work have led eventually to a spin out company has been formed. The company Causeway Sensors Limited aims to exploit the structures for biological detection and gas sensing.
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Education,Energy,Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Impact Types Economic

 
Description EPSRC
Amount £4,439,821 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/H000917/2 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2010 
End 08/2015
 
Description Invest Northern Ireland
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Funding ID POC202 
Organisation Invest Northern Ireland 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2011 
End 10/2012
 
Description Guided mode biosensing 
Organisation Oregon State University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Preparation and measurements on samples and intellectual input.
Collaborator Contribution Guided mode measurements and intellectual input.
Impact 10.1038/nmat2546
Start Year 2009
 
Description Guided mode biosensing 
Organisation École Polytechnique de Montréal
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Preparation and measurements on samples and intellectual input.
Collaborator Contribution Guided mode measurements and intellectual input.
Impact 10.1038/nmat2546
Start Year 2009
 
Description Nanodomes 
Organisation Chalmers University of Technology
Country Sweden 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Intellectual input and sample design and measurements
Collaborator Contribution Sample manufacture and intellectual input
Impact 10.1021/jp203216k
Start Year 2010
 
Description Nanodomes 
Organisation University College Cork
Department Tyndall National Institute
Country Ireland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Intellectual input and sample design and measurements
Collaborator Contribution Sample manufacture and intellectual input
Impact 10.1021/jp203216k
Start Year 2010
 
Description Nanotubes sensing 
Organisation Chalmers University of Technology
Country Sweden 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Manufacture and measurement of samples
Collaborator Contribution Intellectual input and measurement analysis
Impact 10.1021/nn9015828
Start Year 2010
 
Description UCD Fluorescence 
Organisation University College Dublin
Country Ireland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Preparation and measurement of samples
Collaborator Contribution Fluorescence measurements
Impact 10.1007/s11468-014-9751-y
Start Year 2012
 
Description Ultrafast nonlinearity 
Organisation Argonne National Laboratory
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Provision and initial measurements of materials
Collaborator Contribution Ultrafast measurements & intellectual input
Impact 10.1038/nnano.2010.278
Start Year 2008
 
Description Ultrafast nonlinearity 
Organisation King's College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provision and initial measurements of materials
Collaborator Contribution Ultrafast measurements & intellectual input
Impact 10.1038/nnano.2010.278
Start Year 2008
 
Description Ultrafast nonlinearity 
Organisation University of Massachusetts
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provision and initial measurements of materials
Collaborator Contribution Ultrafast measurements & intellectual input
Impact 10.1038/nnano.2010.278
Start Year 2008
 
Description Ultrafast nonlinearity 
Organisation University of North Florida
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provision and initial measurements of materials
Collaborator Contribution Ultrafast measurements & intellectual input
Impact 10.1038/nnano.2010.278
Start Year 2008
 
Description Ultrasound detector 
Organisation King's College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provision and initial measurements of suitable materials.
Collaborator Contribution Ultrasonic detection measurements
Impact 10.1002/adma.201300314
Start Year 2011
 
Description Ultrasound detector 
Organisation Texas A&M University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provision and initial measurements of suitable materials.
Collaborator Contribution Ultrasonic detection measurements
Impact 10.1002/adma.201300314
Start Year 2011
 
Description Ultrasound detector 
Organisation University of Massachusetts
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provision and initial measurements of suitable materials.
Collaborator Contribution Ultrasonic detection measurements
Impact 10.1002/adma.201300314
Start Year 2011
 
Company Name Causeway Sensors Limited 
Description Causeway Sensors has developed a truly unique sensing platform, based on optically active nanostructures, with a reader instrument for measuring levels of biological entities. The team has developed a nanostructure surface for sensor chips that has an exceptionally large surface area (increased binding recognition sites) designed for size compatibility with many proteins and bacteria. Our platform will enable the development of state of the art biosensors for use by world leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies for drug discovery, antibody production and disease diagnostics. The technology being chip-based means it would be feasible to integrate with miniaturised electronics, optics and microfluidics to enable high-throughput and low-cost lab-on-a-chip type systems. 
Year Established 2013 
Impact Causeway Sensors was established in November 2013 with initial seed capital totalling €125,000 from angel investors and QUBIS Limited. We subsequently secured EU regional development structural funding (€110,000 from the ERDF) to successfully fund the research and development of our nanostructure surfaces from proof of principle to prototyping stage. In May 2016, Causeway Sensors raised €575k in funding from a UK based VC fund Kernel Capital and a further €25k from QUBIS. The capital is being used to establish the company and further elucidate proof of principle of the technology. Currently 3 of the 4 posts are scientific FTE.
Website http://causewaysensors.com