Localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) arises from the interaction of light with noble metal nanoparticles, which induces a collective oscillation in the free electrons. The size and shape of the metallic nanostructure significantly impact LSPR frequency and strength. Nanoplasmonic sensor has become a recent research focus due to its significant signal enhancement and robust signal transduction measured by extinction spectroscopy, fluorescence, Raman scattering, and absorption spectroscopy. Dark-field microscopy, in contrast, reports the scattered photons after light-matter interactions. In this case, the nanoparticles can be understood as dipole radiators whose free electrons oscillate in concert. Coupled with spectroscopy, this platform allows the collection of plasmonically scattered spectra from gold nanoparticles.
Plasmonic coupling between electron-beam lithography patterned gold nanodisks (AuND) and colloidal gold nanoparticles (AuNP) can change the plasmonic resonance of the original entities, and can be effectively studied by dark-field hyperspectral microscopy. Typically, a pronounced redshift can be observed when plasmonic coupling occurs. When these nano-entities are functionalized with interactive surface moieties, biochemistry and molecular processes can be studied. In this paper, we will present the capability of assessing the process of immobilizing streptavidin-functionalized AuNPs on an array of biotin-terminated AuNDs. By monitoring changes in the LSPR band of AuNDs, we are able to evaluate similar processes in other molecular systems.
In addition, plasmon coupling induced scattering intensity variations can be measured by an electron-multiplied charge-coupled device camera for rapid in situ monitoring. This method can potentially be useful in studying dynamic biophysical and biochemical processes in situ.