No Access Submitted: 01 July 2015 Accepted: 03 December 2015 Published Online: 18 December 2015
Journal of Applied Physics 118, 233107 (2015);
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  • M. Chekini
  • R. Filter
  • J. Bierwagen
  • A. Cunningham
  • C. Rockstuhl
  • T. Bürgi
Localized surface plasmon resonances excited in metallic nanoparticles confine and enhance electromagnetic fields at the nanoscale. This is particularly pronounced in dimers made from two closely spaced nanoparticles. When quantum emitters, such as dyes, are placed in the gap of those dimers, their absorption and emission characteristics can be modified. Both processes have to be considered when aiming to enhance the fluorescence from the quantum emitters. This is particularly challenging for dimers, since the electromagnetic properties and the enhanced fluorescence sensitively depend on the distance between the nanoparticles. Here, we use a layer-by-layer method to precisely control the distances in such systems. We consider a dye layer deposited on top of an array of gold nanoparticles or integrated into a central position of a double array of gold nanoparticles. We study the effect of the spatial arrangement and the average distance on the plasmon-enhanced fluorescence. We found a maximum of a 99-fold increase in the fluorescence intensity of the dye layer sandwiched between two gold nanoparticle arrays. The interaction of the dye layer with the plasmonic system also causes a spectral shift in the emission wavelengths and a shortening of the fluorescence life times. Our work paves the way for large-scale, high throughput, and low-cost self-assembled functionalized plasmonic systems that can be used as efficient light sources.
Financial support from University of Geneva and the Swiss National Science Foundation is acknowledged. This work was supported by the German Science Foundation within Project No. RO 3640/4-1. We would like to thank Bioimaging Center of University of Geneva for the access to electron microscopy.
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