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March 11, 2009


Dr. Steve Blair
University of Utah
Molecular Detection and Nonlinear Optics with Plasmonic Antennas

Abstract. Antennas couple the near and far fields and provide tight localization of electromagnetic radiation.  In the optical regime, antenna structures behave in much the same way, but exhibit a "plasmonic" response due to the finite conductivity of metals.  Near-field resonances can be obtained across spatial scales much less than the wavelength with dramatic enhancements in the local intensity.  These properties are advantageous for improving the detection of molecules and nonlinear frequency conversions.  I will overview our work in these areas, which includes the understanding of the mechanisms involved in fluorescence enhancement by antenna structures, and applications in single molecule detection and DNA microarrays.  We have also studied nonlinear wavelength conversion process such as second- and third-harmonic generation.  Through these studies, we have observed the effects of different metals and "hidden" parameters such as the choice of adhesion layer material.




Vanderbilt University