Metallic nanocone array photonic substrate for high-uniformity surface deposition and optical detection of small molecules

Jean Philippe Coppé, Zhida Xu, Yi Chen, G. Logan Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Molecular probe arrays printed on solid surfaces such as DNA, peptide, and protein microarrays are widely used in chemical and biomedical applications especially genomic and proteomic studies(Pollack et al. 1999 Nat.Genet.23 41-6, Houseman et al. 2002 Nat.Biotechnol.20 270-4, Sauer et al. 2005 Nat.Rev.Genet.6 465-76) as well as surface imaging and spectroscopy (Mori et al. 2008 Anal.Biochem.375 223-31, Liu et al. 2006 Nat.Nanotechnol.1 47-52, Liu 2010 IEEE J.Sel.Top.Quantum Electron.16 662-71). Unfortunately the printed molecular spots on solid surfaces often suffer low distribution uniformity due to the lingering 'coffee stain'(Deegan et al. 1997 Nature 389 827-9) problem of molecular accumulations and blotches, especially around the edge of deposition spots caused by solvent evaporation and convection processes. Here we present, without any surface chemistry modification, a unique solid surface of high-aspect-ratio silver-coated silicon nanocone arrays that allows highly uniform molecular deposition and thus subsequent uniform optical imaging and spectroscopic molecular detection. Both fluorescent Rhodamine dye molecules and unlabeled oligopeptides are printed on the metallic nanocone photonic substrate surface as circular spot arrays. In comparison with the printed results on ordinary glass slides and silver-coated glass slides, not only high printing density but uniform molecular distribution in every deposited spot is achieved. The high-uniformity and repeatability of molecular depositions on the 'coffee stain'-free nanocone surface is confirmed by laser scanning fluorescence imaging and surface enhanced Raman imaging experiments. The physical mechanism for the uniform molecular deposition is attributed to the superhydrophobicity and localized pinned liquid-solid-air interface on the silver-coated silicon nanocone surface. The unique surface properties of the presented nanocone surface enabled high-density, high-uniformity probe spotting beneficial for genomic and proteomic microarrays and surface molecular imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number245710
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 17 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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