Year of Publication

2009

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE)

Document Type

Thesis

College

Engineering

Department

Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. J. Todd Hastings

Abstract

L‐glutamate is associated with several neurological disorders; thus, monitoring fast dynamics of L‐glutamate is of great importance in the field of neuroscience. Electrode miniaturization demanded by many applications leads to reduced surface area and decreased amounts of immobilized enzymes on coated electrodes. As a result, lower signal‐to‐noise ratios are observed for oxidase‐enzyme based sensors. To increase the signal‐to‐noise ratio we have developed a process to fabricate micro‐ and nano‐ structures on the microelectrode surface.

Localized surface‐plasmon resonances (SPR) has been extensively used to design label‐free biosensors that can monitor receptor‐ligand interactions. A major challenge with localized SPR sensors is that they remain highly susceptible to interference because they respond to both solution refractive index changes and surface binding of the target analyte. The key concept introduced in the present work is the exploitation of transverse and longitudinal resonance modes of nanorod arrays to differentiate between bulk refractive index changes and surface interactions. The transverse bulk sensitivity of the localized SPR sensor (107 nm/RIU) remains competitive with typical single mode gold nanosphere SPR sensors. The figure of merit for the device’s cross‐sensitivity (1.99) is comparable to that of typical wavelength‐interrogated propagating SPR sensors with self referencing.

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