Colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals are ideal fluorophores for clinical diagnostics, therapeutics, and highly sensitive biochip applications due to their high photostability, size-tunable color of emission and flexible surface chemistry. The relatively recent development of core-seeded semiconductor nanorods showed that the presence of a rod-like shell can confer even more advantageous physicochemical properties than their spherical counterparts, such as large multi-photon absorption cross-sections and facet-specific chemistry that can be exploited to deposit secondary nanoparticles. It may be envisaged that these highly fluorescent nanorods can be integrated with large scale integrated (LSI) microfluidic systems that allow miniaturization and integration of multiple biochemical processes in a single device at the nanoliter scale, resulting in a highly sensitive and automated detection platform. In this talk, I will describe a LSI microfluidic device that integrates RNA extraction, reverse transcription to cDNA, amplification and target pull-down to detect histidine decarboxylase (HDC) gene directly from human white blood cells samples. When anisotropic colloidal semiconductor nanorods (NRs) were used as the fluorescent readout, the detection limit was found to be 0.4 ng of total RNA, which was much lower than that obtained using spherical quantum dots (QDs) or organic dyes. This was attributed to the large action cross-section of NRs and their high probability of target capture in a pull-down detection scheme. The combination of large scale integrated microfluidics with highly fluorescent semiconductor NRs may find widespread utility in point-of-care devices and multi-target diagnostics.
We fabricate and characterize mono- and few- layers of MoS2 and WSe2 on glass and SiO2/Si substrates. PbS quantum dots and/or Au nanoparticles are deposited on the fabricated thin metal dichalcogenide films by controlled drop casting and electron beam evaporation techniques. The reflection spectra of the fabricated structures are measured with a spatially resolved reflectometry setup. Both experimental and numerical results show that surface functionalization with metal nanoparticles can enhance atomically thin transition metal dichalcogenides’ absorption and scattering capabilities, however semiconducting quantum dots do not create such effect.