High-Contrast Infrared Absorption Spectroscopy via Mass-Produced Coaxial Zero-Mode Resonators with Sub-10 nm Gaps

We present a wafer-scale array of resonant coaxial nanoapertures as a practical platform for surface-enhanced infrared absorption spectroscopy (SEIRA). Coaxial nanoapertures with sub-10 nm gaps are fabricated via photolithography, atomic layer deposition of a sacrificial Al2O3 layer to define the nanogaps, and planarization via glancing-angle ion milling. At the zeroth-order Fabry-Pérot resonance condition, our coaxial apertures act as a “zero-mode resonator (ZMR)”, efficiently funneling as much as 34% of incident infrared (IR) light along 10 nm annular gaps. After removing Al2O3 in the gaps and inserting silk protein, we can couple the intense optical fields of the annular nanogap into the vibrational modes of protein molecules. From 7 nm gap ZMR devices coated with a 5 nm thick silk protein film, we observe high-contrast IR absorbance signals drastically suppressing 58% of the transmitted light and infer a strong IR absorption enhancement factor of 10^4∼10^5. These single nanometer gap ZMR devices can be mass-produced via batch processing and offer promising routes for broad applications of SEIRA.

Published in:
Nano Letters, 18, 3, 1930-1936
Feb 13 2018
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 Record created 2018-06-04, last modified 2018-12-03

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