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CUNanoSoc Presents: Nanophotonics

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Vibrating Single-molecule Coupled to Plasmonic Nanocavity Dr Rohit Chikkaraddy Nanophotonics Centre

In this talk, I will discuss our recent success in confining optical fields to atomic scales allowing to visualise vibrational and electronic dynamics of a single-molecule [1,2]. Optical confinement is achieved via plasmonic coupling between metallic nano-components, generating strongly red-shifted resonances with intense local field amplification at the nanoscale. This allows us to directly ‘see’ motion of individual atoms, vibrations of single-molecules as well as excitations in monolayer semiconductors [3,4]. I will in particular show our recent work exploring the coupling of tightly confined optical fields to precisely positioned and oriented single-molecules using DNA origami techniques, supramolecular guest-host assembly and self-assembled monolayers, which also now accesses the regime of molecular strong-coupling and enhanced emission5. Further, I will show how these can produce sensing systems which are relevant for widespread applications.


[1] Nature 535, 127 (2016); Single-molecule strong coupling at room temperature in plasmonic nanocavities. [2] Science 354, 726 (2016); Single-molecule optomechanics in picocavities. [3] ACS Photonics, 4, 469 (2017); How Ultranarrow Gap Symmetries Control Plasmonic Nanocavity Modes: From Cubes to Spheres in the Nanoparticle-on-Mirror. [4] Nature Comm, 8, 1296 (2017); Strong-coupling of WSe2 in ultra-compact plasmonic nanocavities at room temperature. [5] Nano Letters, 18, 405 (2018); Mapping Nanoscale Hotspots with Single-Molecule Emitters Assembled into Plasmonic Nanocavities Using DNA Origami.

Wafer-scale integration of nano-, and microfluidics with two-photon lithography Oliver Vanderpooten Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

The misfolding of proteins inside neuronal cells is known to be linked to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson disease. [1] Microfluidics produced via soft lithography have become a powerful tool to characterize these protein aggregates “in vitro” under controlled conditions and within confined spaces. [2] The nanofluidic regime with its new promising transport phenomena [3], cannot be easily integrated into this technique by biological laboratories without access to clean room facilities. Therefore, we use 2-photon lithography – which can be best described as “3D printing on the nanoscale” – to accelerate lab-on-chip prototyping and to produce nanochannel molds with heights down to 55 nm without the need for any clean room machinery. We characterized the method’s printing capabilities with atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and show nanofluidic master wafer fabrication from the micron to the sub 100 nm regime. STORM super-resolution-microscopy images of diffusing Rhodamine 6G dye verify a successful integration of 300 nm wide nanochannels into a microfluidic chip. By combining UV-lithography with 2-photon direct laser writing we developed a procedure to make rapid wafer-scale nanofluidic prototyping possible.

Keywords: Protein misfolding diseases; Nanofiltration; Nanofabrication; Lab-on-chip; Super resolution microscopy;

[1] Clemens F. Kaminski, Gabriele S. Kaminski Schierle, Probing amyloid protein aggregation with optical superresolution methods: from the test tube to models of disease, Neurophoton. 3(4), 041807 (2016). [2] Knowles, T. P. J. et al. Observation of spatial propagation of amyloid assembly from single nuclei. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 108, 14746–14751, DOI : 10.1073/pnas.1105555108 (2011). [3] Bocquet, L. & Charlaix, E. Nanofluidics, from bulk to interfaces. Chem. Soc. Rev. 39, 1073–1095, DOI : 10.1039/B909366B (2010).

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