Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Imaging of surface plasmons may be a lot easier than previously thought

Date:
June 6, 2011
Source:
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Summary:
An unusual observation turned into a scientific breakthrough when researchers investigating the optical properties of nanomaterials discovered that so-called surface plasmons leave imprints on the surface of the nanostructures. This led to a new type of high resolution microscopy for imaging the electric fields of nanostructures.

An unusual observation turned into a scientific breakthrough when K.U.Leuven researchers investigating the optical properties of nanomaterials discovered that so-called surface plasmons leave imprints on the surface of the nanostructures. This led to a new type of high resolution microscopy for imaging the electric fields of nanostructures.

Related Articles


Nanomaterials, consisting of extremely small particles or thin layers, tend to acquire unexpected properties. Optical nanomaterials are a class of materials that have emerged over the last ten years and that have quickly become a hot topic in material science due to their counterintuitive optical behavior and revolutionary potential applications. Optical nanomaterials are mainly based on surface plasmon resonances -- the property whereby, in metallic nanostructures, light can collectively excite surface electron waves. These electron waves have the same frequency as light, but much shorter wavelengths, which allow their manipulation at the nanoscale. In other words, with the help of plasmons, light can be captured, modified and even stored in nanostructures. This emerging technology finds applications in surprising areas, ranging from cancer treatment (by targeting cancer cells with nanoparticles that will produce heat when excited) to invisibility (by causing light to follow a trail of nanoparticles, that acts as an invisibility cloak to whatever is underneath them).

The imaging of surface plasmons provides a direct way to map and understand the local electric fields that are responsible for the unusual electromagnetic properties of optical nanomaterials. However, the imaging of surface plasmons is quite challenging. While there are methods to image plasmons with high resolution, they come at a considerable increase in both cost and complexity. But now, Ventsislav K. Valev and his colleagues have demonstrated a powerful and user friendly method for imaging plasmonic patterns in nanostructures.

"We were performing routine characterization of freshly grown samples, when I asked Yogesh, one of our Ph.D. students, to look at a sample that had already been studied. There was absolutely no reason to do this; I just had a hunch," sais Ventsislav Valev. "Surprisingly, this sample appeared to be decorated and I immediately recognized the pattern. Somehow, the optical properties have been imprinted on the surface of the nanostructures."

The scientists indeed found out that upon illuminating nanostructures made of nickel or palladium, the resulting surface plasmon pattern is imprinted on the structures themselves. This imprinting is done through displacing material from the nanostructure to the regions where the plasmon enhancements are the largest. In this manner, the plasmons are effectively decorated, allowing for subsequent imaging with standard surface probe techniques, such as scanning electron microscopy or atomic force microscopy. The imprinting method is quite unique, combining aspects of both imaging and writing techniques.

This research is described in an upcoming paper in the journal Physical Review Letters.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. V. Valev, A. Silhanek, Y. Jeyaram, D. Denkova, B. De Clercq, V. Petkov, X. Zheng, V. Volskiy, W. Gillijns, G. Vandenbosch, O. Aktsipetrov, M. Ameloot, V. Moshchalkov, T. Verbiest. Hotspot Decorations Map Plasmonic Patterns with the Resolution of Scanning Probe Techniques. Physical Review Letters, 2011; 106 (22) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.226803

Cite This Page:

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. "Imaging of surface plasmons may be a lot easier than previously thought." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110606121837.htm>.
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. (2011, June 6). Imaging of surface plasmons may be a lot easier than previously thought. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110606121837.htm
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. "Imaging of surface plasmons may be a lot easier than previously thought." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110606121837.htm (accessed March 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, March 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Amazon Complains U.S. Is Too Slow To Regulate Drones

Amazon Complains U.S. Is Too Slow To Regulate Drones

Newsy (Mar. 25, 2015) Days after getting approval to test certain commercial drones, Amazon says the Federal Aviation Administration is dragging its feet on the matter. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) European researchers say our smartphone use offers scientists an ideal testing ground for human brain plasticity. Dr Ako Ghosh&apos;s team discovered that the brains and thumbs of smartphone users interact differently from those who use old-fashioned handsets. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
China Wants to Export Its Steel Problem

China Wants to Export Its Steel Problem

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) China is facing a crisis with a glut of steel and growing public anger over the pollution created by production. In a move to solve the problem, some steel mills are looking to relocate overseas. Jane Lanhee Lee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Stays on Its Feet Despite Punishment

Robot Stays on Its Feet Despite Punishment

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 24, 2015) Robotic engineers have modelled a two-legged robot to be fast and agile like an ostrich. The design is more efficient and stable than bipedal robots built to move like humans, according to its creators who abuse the poor machine to test its skills. Ben Gruber has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins