Nanophotonics (Oct 2022)

Nanoparticle-on-mirror pairs: building blocks for remote spectroscopies

  • Hu Huatian,
  • Xu Yuhao,
  • Hu Zhiwei,
  • Kang Bowen,
  • Zhang Zhenglong,
  • Sun Jiawei,
  • Li Yang,
  • Xu Hongxing

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 11, no. 22
pp. 5153 – 5163


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Surface-enhanced spectroscopies, such as surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), fluorescence (SEF), circular dichroism, etc., are powerful tools for investigating nano-entities with high sensitivities. Owing to the giant local electric field confined in a plasmonic nanogap, nanogap-enhanced spectroscopies could detect samples with ultralow concentrations, even down to the single-molecule level for SERS and SEF. This great ability to detect analytes with ultralow concentrations provides opportunities for early diagnosis and monitoring in modern biomedicine. However, local laser excitations would inevitably bring about unwanted disruptive background perturbations, local heating, and the consequent geometry reshaping and biological analyte damages. Remote spectroscopies avoiding direct laser exposure to the samples can be treated as remarkable solutions. Here, we combined the nanoparticle-on-mirror (NPoM) family with the philosophy of remote spectroscopy to construct so-called “NPoM pairs” structures. They consist of two identical NPoMs with matched resonances yet separate functions either as receiving or transmitting antennas. A figure of merit for evaluating the remote spectroscopies was put forward, which accounts for the efficiencies in three processes, i.e., receiving, transporting, and transmitting. In addition, we experimentally demonstrated the performances of these NPoM pairs by proof-of-principle applications on the remote SERS and SEF. The optical access of the spectral information in these NPoM pairs both locally and remotely manifests themselves as fundamental building blocks for remote spectroscopies.