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J Am Chem Soc. 2010 Sep 22;132(37):12820-2. doi: 10.1021/ja105248h.

Gold nanofingers for molecule trapping and detection.

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  • 1Information & Quantum Systems Laboratory, Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, 1501 Page Mill Road, MS1123, Palo Alto, California 94304, USA.


Here we demonstrate a molecular trap structure that can be formed to capture analyte molecules in solution for detection and identification. The structure is based on gold-coated nanoscale polymer fingers made by nanoimprinting technique. The nanofingers are flexible and their tips can be brought together to trap molecules, while at the same time the gold-coated fingertips form a reliable Raman hot spot for molecule detection and identification based on surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). The molecule self-limiting gap size control between fingertips ensures ultimate SERS enhancement for sensitive molecule detection. Furthermore, these type of structures, resulting from top-down meeting self-assembly, can be generalized for other applications, such as plasmonics, meta-materials, and other nanophotonic systems.

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