Drilling holes of nanometric dimensions in a metal film is a way conceptually simple to realize new nanophotonic components. In spite of its visible simplicity, a hole drilled in an opaque screen still inspires new perspectives of applications.
In a review published in Nature, Cyriaque Genet and Thomas Ebbesen (Institut de Science and Ingenierie Supramoleculaires, Louis Pasteur
The field of application of these structures is very wide, and is approached through certain specific examples. In opto-electronics, they improve the extraction of light of electroluminescent diodes and allow the development of ultrafast miniaturized silicon detectors. Biochemistry is another major domain of applications, notably through the detection of individual fluorescent molecules and enhanced infrared vibrational spectroscopy."Light in tiny holes"; Cyriaque Genet et Thomas W. Ebbesen, Nature 445, 39-46 (2007).
Nanometric apertures in a metallic film are easy to produce, robust and highly reproducible nanophotonic devices that possess a number of desirable properties for biophotonics. In a special issue of the International Journal of Materials and Product Technology, I will describe some exciting applications of sub-wavelength apertures towards the sensitive and specific characterization of molecules.
Outline : 1/ introducing nanoapertures, 2/ Performing FCS in reduced volumes, 3/ Single molecule analysis in a nanohole, 4/ Sub-diffraction diffusion analysis within lipidic membranes, 5/ Fluorescence emission enhancement, 6/ Biosensing applications of sub-wavelength apertures.
An unedited version of the paper is available on the MOSAIC website >> here.
I will attend to the next SPP meeting to be held in
In an oral contribution, I shall present our recent results towards the application of nanometric apertures in a gold film to biophotonics applications.
Link to SPP3 meeting : www.plasmonanodevices.org/spp3/
The following image was submitted as cover art for a Biophysical Journal issue (following our paper on cells under the nanospotlight). Unfortunately, the technical staff editors did not accept to consider it : direct cover art suggestions are not welcome. This is quite surprising, and I must say, even a bit disappointing. So that it does not completely disappear, I put it as an illustration for my blog…