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Results ■ Scientific Highlights ■ Breaking diffusion limit with super-hydrophobic delivery of molecules to plasmonic nanofocusing SERS structures

Breaking diffusion limit with super-hydrophobic delivery of molecules to plasmonic nanofocusing SERS structures

The detection of few molecules from highly diluted solution is of extreme interest in different fields such as biomedicine, safety and eco pollution from rare and dangerous chemicals. Nano sensors based on plasmonics are the most promising devices that combine high sensitivity, label free detection and miniaturization. However, plasmonic based nanosensors, and more in general sensors whose sensitive area is in the nanometer scale, cannot directly be used for detecting molecules dissolved in femto/atto molar solutions. In other words, they are diffusion limited and their detection time becomes unpractical at those concentrations. We recently demonstrated that super hydrophobic artificial surfaces can be exploited to drive molecules present in highly diluted solution toward a specific point with accuracy of few hundreds of nanometers. At the end of the evaporation process few molecules initially dispersed in volumes of mm3 (nano/micro liters, atto molar concentration) are concentrated over the surface of plasmonic nanosensors able to detect up to few molecules by means of Raman Scattering. Results were published on Nature Photonics (Sept. 2011). Moreover, we demonstrated that devices can be used to create networks of suspended l-DNA molecules.

Related IIT publications

  1. F. De Angelis et al., “Breaking diffusion limit with super-hydrophobic delivery of molecules to plasmonic nanofocusing SERS structures”, Nature Photonics. , 5, 682-687 (2011) (doi: 10.1038/NPHOTON.2011.222).
  2. A. Accardo et al., “In Situ X-ray Scattering Studies of Protein Solution Droplets Drying on Micro- and Nanopatterned Superhydrophobic PMMA Surfaces”. Langmuir, 26, 15057-15064 (2010).

Last Updated on Friday, 13 April 2012 17:29

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