New enhancement strategies for plasmon-enhanced fluorescence biosensors

Martin Bauch

Publikation: AbschlussarbeitDissertation


This thesis investigates metallic nanostructures exhibiting surface plasmon resonance for the amplification of fluorescence signal in sandwich immunoassays. In this approach, an analyte is captured by an antibody immobilized on a plasmonic structure and detected by a subsequently bound fluorophore labeled detection antibody. The highly confined field of surface plasmons originates from collective charge oscillations which are associated with high electromagnetic field enhancements at the metal surface and allow for greatly increased fluorescence signal from the attached fluorophores. This feature allows for improving the signal-to-noise ratio in fluorescence measurements and thus advancing the sensitivity of the sensor platform. In particular, the thesis presents two plasmonic nanostructures that amplify fluorescence signal in devices that rely on epifluorescence geometry, in which the fluorophore absorbs and emits light from the same direction perpendicular to the substrate surface. The first is a crossed relief gold grating that supports propagating surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) and second, gold nanoparticles embedded in refractive index symmetric Environment exhibiting collective localized surface plasmons (cLSPs). Finite-difference time-domain simulations are performed in order to design structures for the optimum amplification of established Cy5 and Alexa Fluor 647 fluorophore labels with the absorption and emission wavelengths in the red region of spectrum. The design takes into account combined effect of surface plasmon-enhanced excitation rate at , directional surface plasmon-driven emission at and modified Quantum yield for characteristic distances in immunoassays. Homebuilt optical instruments are developed for the experimental observation of the surface plasmon mode spectrum, measurements of the angular distribution of surface plasmon-coupled fluorescence light and a setup mimicking Commercial fluorescence reading systems in epifluorescence geometry. Crossed relief grating structures are prepared by interference lithography and multiple copies are made by UV nanoimprint lithography. The fabricated crossed diffraction gratings were utilized for sandwich immunoassay-based detection of the clinically relevant inflammation marker interleukin 6 (IL-6). The enhancement factor of the crossed grating reached ≈ 10 when compared to a flat gold substrate. This result is comparable to the highest reported enhancements to date, for fluorophores with relatively high intrinsic quantum yield of ≈ 0.3. The measured enhancementfactor excellently agrees with the predictions of the simulations and the mechanisms of the enhancement are explained in detail. Main contributions were the high electric field intensity enhancement at (30-fold increase) and the directional fluorescence emission at (4-fold increase) compared to a flat gold substrate.
Gradverleihende Hochschule
Betreuer/-in / Berater/-in
  • Knoll, Wolfgang, Betreuer:in
  • Paulsen, Harald, Betreuer:in, Externe Person
Datum der Bewilligung19 Nov. 2014
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2014

Research Field

  • Biosensor Technologies


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