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Metamaterials and Opto-fluidics for Ultrasensitive Spectroscopy and Bio-detection

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Monday, September 10, 2012 - 10:00am

Speaker Name(s): 

Hatice Altug

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

Boston University
Seminar Type/Subject

Event Details & Abstract: 

Nanophotonics, by localizing light to the sub-wavelength volumes and dramatically enhancing local fields, is enabling a myriad of unprecedented opportunities for construction of novel photonic devices and systems. In this talk, we will present her research team’s recent work on integrated plasmonic metamaterials and their applications. We will first introduce an ultrasensitive infrared nanospectroscopy technique. Infrared spectroscopy, which directly measures vibrational fingerprints of the biomolecular/chemicals in mid-IR frequencies, is a powerful identification and analysis tool. However, its low sensitivity so far limited the applicability of this technique. By engineering on-chip nano-antennas, we will demonstrate that infrared plasmonics can overcome fundamental Lambert-Beer’s law and enhance vibrational signatures of proteins by more than 100,000 times enabling spectral measurement of even single molecular monolayers. We will also show that by employing Fano-resonances on asymmetric metamaterials, structural information regarding crucial protein-protein interactions can be extracted. These novel technologies by enabling measurements of protein activity and structure from ultra-low quantities of molecules can open up a new paradigm in vibrational spectroscopy. For surface based bio-sensors operating at low analyte concentrations, relying only on diffusion to transport analytes to the device surfaces severely limits sensor performances. We will show that by uniquely integrating nanophotonics and nanofluidics on the same platform, one can overcome this limitation while dramatically improving sensor response times. We will then show that sub-wavelength optofluidic sensors can sensitively and reliably detect live and intact viruses in biological media at medically relevant concentrations. We will also demonstrate a plasmonic platform enabling massively multiplexed, on-chip and label-free protein microarrays for high-throughput screening applications. We will then introduce a novel nanofabrication method enabling high-throughput, large area and low-cost fabrication of metamaterials and bio-molecules at high-resolution. We will show that this method also enable patterning on flexible, stretchable polymers and non-planar surfaces.

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