Coupled plasmon resonances for sensing and active plasmonics

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

The dramatic progress in nanofabrications allows one to create new exciting composite plasmonic nanomaterials. These materials have attracted considerable interest as they offer a possibility to realise extraordinary electromagnetic properties important for optics, communications and electronics. Nanocomposite metamaterials also promise a whole variety of amazing applications, e.g., an optical lens beating the diffraction limit, a nanolens focusing light into a sub-wavelength spot, a supersensitive plasmonic nano-sensor, and active optical elements.

As in any "natural" material, coupling between "nano-atoms" and "nano-molecules" plays an important role allowing one to achieve new material properties and functionalities. Recently, we have experimentally observed several new interesting phenomena connected to coupling of localised plasmon resonances in plasmonic nano-arrays: i) quantized transparency of plasmonic arrays coupled by a thin conducting sub-layer ii) extremely narrow plasmon resonances produced by diffractive coupling iii) cascaded enhancements of electromagnetic fields produced by near-field coupling.

These findings are still under investigation and promise new exciting applications: ultra-sensitive plasmonic nano-sensors, extremely fast optical modulators and nano-focusing of light without lenses. The proposal aims to expand our initial findings into a viable research programme based on our current competitive advantage in exploration of coupled plasmon resonances. We will fabricate regular arrays of plasmonic nanomolecules and elucidate coupling mechanisms in all three cases. The main focus of our research will be 1) to engineer and fabricate plasmonic nanomaterials in which an optical response can be changed with the change of the coupling induced by graphene gating, 2) to elucidate the nature of diffractive coupled plasmon resonances and tailor nanomaterials for label-free plasmon nanosensors and 3) to study cascaded enhancement of electromagnetic fields. We plan not only to fabricate new optical composite nanomaterials and study their extraordinary electromagnetic properties but also to assess some of their applications, which we believe are the most promising and within our expertise (feasibility study of graphene based plasmonic optical modulator and plasmonic waveguide, phase sensitive nano-sensor, etc.).

Planned Impact

Impact summary

Our results will be important first and foremost for the academic community. The theory of the collective plasmon resonances, quantized plasmonic will be useful for nanooptics and photonics. The new metamaterials based on regular arrays and plasmonic nanolenses will be stimulating and important for metamaterials community, scientists interested in bio- and chemical sensing. The last but not the least, the graphene-based plasmonic devices could useful for optoelectronics. We hope to widen understanding of the relevant physics, clarify the mechanisms of the studied effects and to check them by direct experiments.

The completion of the project would imply a fabrication of plasmonic devices which will be interesting for industry and technology. The ultra-sensitive sensors of based on phase sensitive plasmonic metamaterials will be useful for bio-technology and medicine. In principle, the suggested research can result in a cheap and reliable label-free alternative to labelling techniques for drug discovery. This alternative can be tempting for large pharmaceutical companies and fledging industries and can lead to benefits for the general public as far as health monitoring is concerned. It is worth mentioning that the phase sensitive SPR imaging suggested by the authors of the project is already marketed by Cambridge Consultant Inc in UK and one can envisage national commercial applications of the device prototypes developed during the course of the project. The cascaded nanolenses will be useful for the people who measure Raman signature of various substances.

The graphene-cased plasmonic devices (based on coupled plasmonic resonances) will be interesting to electronics companies as they promise cheaper and faster light modulation which can be used to increase internet speed and to improve the operation of the photocells. Hence public sector, business and industries, schools and the general public stand to benefit from the graphene based plasmonic research described in the proposal.

The impact of the project lies in 4 different areas.

1. The ontological impact. The acquired knowledge will be useful for scientific society and will provide with general insights into coupling of complex systems.

2. The economic impact. We hope that the device-prototypes demonstrated in the project will be useful for both large companies and for new industries as they promise to improve the drug monitoring and more effective energy harvesting. In addition to this it is possible to develop a 20x increase in internet speed with graphene-based modulators.

3. The health impact. The possibility to monitor drugs and pollutants using cheap and reliable plasmonic nanosensors and nanolenses will improve health awareness and allow people to do simple tests (e.g., blood type test) at home or work.

4. The technological impact. We will develop new technologies during the course of the project (e.g., nanolens fabrication, graphene blending with plasmonics, efficient plasmon coupling, creation a of 1D quantized resistive bridge) and will share our knowledge with interested parties, investigating the commercialization potential which arises.

New possibilities of using the collective plasmon modes (nanotweezing, active plasmonics, field amplifications) can lead to new foresights and result in more complex and smart materials.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description To summarise our findings, we have
1. Realised collective resonances at normal angle of incidence in asymmetric environment necessary for biosensing.
2. Demonstrated graphene-protected copper plasmonics for biosensing and light processing applications.
3. Studied negative index of refraction in coupled nanoparticles for novel optic devices.
4. Fabricated plasmon-induced conductive filaments in dielectrics for computer memory applications.
5. Realised the first hybrid graphene-plasmonic waveguide modulator for telecom applications.
Exploitation Route Collective resonances at normal incidence will be used in biosensing. Graphene-protected plasmonics is a new field of investigation. All-optical memory can be useful for optical computers. Hybrid graphene-plasmonic modulators can speed up telecommunications.
Sectors Chemicals,Education,Electronics,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

 
Description Our results will be important first and foremost for academic community. The theory of the collective plasmon resonances, quantum plasmonic will be useful for nanooptics and photonics. The new metamaterials based on regular arrays and plasmonic nanolenses will be stimulating and important for metamaterials community, scientists interested in bio- and chemical sensing. The last but not the least, the graphene-based plasmonic devices could useful for optoelectronics. We hope to widen understanding of the relevant physics, clarify the mechanisms of the studied effects and to check them by direct experiments.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Chemicals,Education,Electronics,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Impact Types Economic

 
Description Bluestone Global Tech
Amount £1,700,000 (GBP)
Organisation Bluestone Global Tech 
Sector Private
Country United States
Start 03/2014 
End 03/2016
 
Description Odense Collaboration 
Organisation University of Southern Denmark
Country Denmark 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Fabrication and measurements graphene based plasmonic waveguide modulators
Collaborator Contribution Fabrication and measurements graphene based plasmonic waveguide modulators
Impact Hybrid graphene plasmonic waveguide modulators By:Ansell, D (Ansell, D.)[ 1 ] ; Radko, IP (Radko, I. P.)[ 2 ] ; Han, Z (Han, Z.)[ 2 ] ; Rodriguez, FJ (Rodriguez, F. J.)[ 1 ] ; Bozhevolnyi, SI (Bozhevolnyi, S. I.)[ 2 ] ; Grigorenko, AN (Grigorenko, A. N.)[ 1 ] View ResearcherID and ORCID NATURE COMMUNICATIONS Volume: 6 Article Number: 8846 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9846 Published: NOV 2015
Start Year 2013
 
Title IMPROVED PLASMONIC STRUCTURES AND DEVICES 
Description A plasmonic structure (10) comprising a layer of metal (14) in which the metal is selected from: a Group 8 to Group 11 transition metal, aluminium, germanium, antimony or bismuth, and a barrier layer (16) formed from a 2-D material disposed on a surface of the layer of metal (14). The metal layer has a roughness that permits the propagation of running plasmons along the interface of the metal layer and the barrier layer. 
IP Reference WO2015173580 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2015
Licensed No
Impact Spin-off company is under discussion.
 
Description "Graphene age- Wonder Material of the 21st Century", Bluestone Global Tech Hong Kong Forum, Hong Kong, 20 June, 2013. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact "Graphene age- Wonder Material of the 21st Century", Invited talk at Bluestone Global Tech Hong Kong Forum, Hong Kong, 20 June, 2013.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description A Master class in Plasmonics, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, 4-5 March, 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact A Master class in Plasmonics, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, 4-5 March, 2014
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Photonics West Conference, 15 - 17 February 2016, Graphene plasmonics: Hybrid graphene-waveguide modulators (Keynote Presentation)" 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Photonics West Conference, Synthesis and Photonics of Nanoscale Materials XIII, 15 - 17 February 2016, "Graphene plasmonics: Hybrid graphene-waveguide modulators (Keynote Presentation)", San Francisco, California, US.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Rank Prize Foundation, Optoelectronics Committee, 22-25 September 2014, Grasmere, UK. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Rank Prize Foundation, Optoelectronics Committee, invited talk "2D Materials for Optoelectronics, Plasmonics and Photonics", 22-25 September 2014, Grasmere, UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014