"By applying recent advances in optical antennas, laser nanostructuring, and theoretical chemistry, we aim to elucidate the fundamental mechanisms underlying SERS and demonstrate high-performance SERS substrates that will enable the technology to go to the next stage of development," says Crozier.
In particular, the team will utilize Crozier's recent work on optical antennas, metallic nanostructures that are able to generate intense electric fields, by modelling, fabricating and characterizing SERS optical antenna chips. SERS measurements on these chips will allow precise determination of the effects of optical antenna parameters, such as size, shape and spacing requirements, on SERS enhancement.
Likewise, to fabricate large area SERS substrates, the researchers will employ Mazur's expertise in femtosecond laser-nanostructured (FSLN) semiconductor surfaces, or what is more commonly known as "black silicon." Because not all metallic nanoparticles are equally SERS-active, they will also create a screening process to separate the two.
Finally, by relying on Aspuru-Guzik's expertise in theoretical modeling the team will investigate the interplay between chemical and electromagnetic enhancement and, based upon their findings, develop an integrated electronic structure package in a complex electromagnetic environment.
|Contact: Michael Patrick Rutter|