An Investigation of Hybrid Plasmonic Systems for Biomedical Applications
Plasmonics is a field that studies the interaction of light with conduction electrons in metals. This results in sub-diffraction limited localization of light and unique properties such as local electric field enhancement and photothermal heating. Plasmonic nanostructures composed of noble metals have been utilized in fields ranging from chemistry to materials science and biomedicine by adapting their unique plasmonic properties for applications in sensing, memory devices, and photothermal therapies, to name a few. With a strong understanding of the fundamentals of plasmonics already established researchers have begun to look towards functionalizing these plasmonic systems through the coupling of materials, (e.g., biomolecular systems and photonic microresonators) to further develop applications and devices in previously mentioned fields. Therefore, the objective of my research is to gain basic knowledge of how the plasmonic properties of noble metal nanostructures would affect coupled materials. To achieve this, in this work I investigated two separate hybrid plasmonic systems which include a nanoparticle-biomolecule system and a hybrid plasmonic microresonator. In the nanoparticle-protein system, we studied computationally and experimentally the influence the biological material could have on the plasmonic photothermal heating effect. Continuing with the computational studies we also worked on simulating a 3-dimensional model of a microresonator system to determine whether this could serve as a model to further predict changes in the system due to influences.