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J Fluoresc. 2010 Jan;20(1):215-23. doi: 10.1007/s10895-009-0541-4. Epub 2009 Oct 10.

Optical properties of micro-patterned silver nanoparticle substrates.

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Biomedical Diagnostics Institute, School of Physical Sciences, Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin, 9, Ireland.


In this paper, we describe a novel technique for depositing metal nanoparticles (NPs) on a planar substrate whereby the NPs are micro-patterned on the surface by a simple stamp-printing procedure. The method exploits the attractive force between negatively charged colloidal metal NPs and positively-charged polyelectrolyte layers which have been selectively deposited on the surface. Using this technique, large uniform areas of patterned metal NPs, with different plasmonic properties, were achieved by optimisation of the stamping process. We report the observation of unusual fluorescence emission from these structures. The emission was measured using epifluorescence microscopy. Fluorescence lifetime behaviour was also measured. Furthermore, the mu-patterned NPs exhibited blinking behaviour under 469 nm excitation and the fluorescence spectrum was multi-peaked. It has been established that the fluorescence is independent of the plasmon resonance properties of the NPs. As well as optimising the novel NP mu-patterning technique, this work discusses the origin and characteristics of the anomalous fluorescence behaviour in order to characterise and minimise this unwanted background contribution in the use of metal NPs for plasmonic enhancement of fluorescence for optical biochip applications.

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