Nature Publishing Group highlights our paper on: Conic hyperspectral dispersion mapping applied to semiconductor plasmonics
Nanoscale optics: plasmons for the masses
Researchers have miniaturized surface plasmon resonance experiments by using microchips embedded with gallium arsenide ‘quantum wells’. One of the best ways to track biochemical agents is through surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy, a technique that uses vibrations from a thin metal layer to detect specific molecular adsorption events. However, observing surface plasmons for biosensing traditionally requires the use of large, precisely tuned light sources. The scheme developed by Dubowski and co-workers employs hyperspectral imaging-a means of measuring data from hundreds of different spectral bands-to record how the broadband light of quantum well nanostructures scatters after striking a metal film. Advanced algorithms then pick out surface plasmons from the light-scattering data and enable near real-time analysis. Solid-state integration and pre-analysed output make this device ideal for future commercial ventures that could go beyond the application of surface plasmon resonance for biosensing.