Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Anal Chem. 2007 Sep 1;79(17):6480-7. Epub 2007 Aug 8.

Aluminum nanostructured films as substrates for enhanced fluorescence in the ultraviolet-blue spectral region.

Author information

Center for Fluorescence Spectroscopy, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


Particulate aluminum films of varied thicknesses were deposited on quartz substrates by thermal evaporation. These nanostructured substrates were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). With the increase of aluminum thickness, the films progress from articulate toward smooth surfaces as observed by SEM images. To date, metal-enhanced fluorescence (MEF) has primarily been observed in the visible - NIR wavelength region using silver or gold island films or roughened surfaces. We now show that fluorescence could also be enhanced in the ultraviolet-blue region of the spectrum using nanostructured aluminum films. Two probes, one in the ultraviolet and another one in the blue spectral region, have been chosen for the present study. We observed increased emission, decrease in fluorescence lifetime, and increase in photostability of a DNA base analogue 2-aminopurine and a coumarin derivative (7-HC) in 10-nm spin-casted poly(vinyl alcohol) film on Al nanostructured surfaces. The fluorescence enhancement factor depends on the thickness of the Al films as the size of the nanostructures formed varies with Al thickness. Both probes showed increased photostability near aluminum nanostructured substrates, which is consistent with the shorter lifetime. Our preliminary studies indicate that Al nanostructured substrates can potentially find widespread use in MEF applications particularly in the UV-blue spectral regime. Furthermore, these Al nanostructured substrates are very stable in buffers that contain chloride salts compared to usual silver colloid-based substrates for MEF, thus furthering the usefulness of these Al-based substrates in many biological assays where high concentration of salts are required. Finite-Difference Time-Domain calculations were also employed to study the enhanced near-fields induced around aluminum nanoparticles by a radiating fluorophore, and the effect of such enhanced fields on the fluorescence enhancement observed was discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for American Chemical Society Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center