Year of Publication

2010

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE)

Document Type

Thesis

College

Engineering

Department

Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. J. Todd Hastings

Abstract

A novel localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) sensor that differentiates between background refractive index changes and surface-binding of a target analyte (e.g. a target molecule, protein, or bacterium) is presented. Standard, single channel LSPR sensors cannot differentiate these two effects as their design allows only one mode to be coupled. This novel technique uses two surface plasmon modes to simultaneously measure surface binding and solution refractive index changes. This increases the sensitivity of the sensor.

Different channels or modes can be created in sensors with the introduction of gold nanospheres or gold nanorods that act as receptor mechanisms. Once immobilization was achieved on gold nanospheres, the technique was optimized to achieve the same immobilization for gold nanorods to get the expected dual mode spectrum. Intricate fabrication methods are illustrated with using chemically terminated self assembled monolayers. Then the fabrication process advances from chemically silanized nanoparticles, on to specific and systematic patterns generated with the use of Electron Beam Lithography.

Comparisons are made within the different methods used, and guidelines are set to create possible room for improvement. Some methods implemented failed, but there was a lot to learn from these unsuccessful outcomes. Finally, the applications of the dual mode sensor are introduced, and current venues where the sensors can be used in chemical and biological settings are discussed.

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