We have created a randomly distributed nanocone substrate on silicon coated with silver for surface-plasmon-enhanced fluorescence detection and 3D cell imaging. Optical characterization of the nanocone substrate showed it can support several plasmonic modes (in the 300-800nm wavelength range) that can be coupled to a fluorophore on the surface of the substrate, which gives rise to the enhanced fluorescence. Spectral analysis suggests that a nanocone substrate can create more excitons and shorter lifetime in the model fluorophore Rhodamine 6G (R6G) due to plasmon resonance energy transfer from the nanocone substrate to the nearby fluorophore. We observed three-dimensional fluorescence enhancement on our substrate shown from the confocal fluorescence imaging of chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells grown on the substrate. The fluorescence intensity from the fluorophores bound on the cell membrane was amplified more than 100-fold as compared to that on a glass substrate. We believe that strong scattering within the nanostructured area coupled with random scattering inside the cell resulted in the observed three-dimensional enhancement in fluorescence with higher photostability on the substrate surface.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering