An optical refractive index (RI) nanosensor with a high sensitivity and figure of merit (FOM), good stability, and biocompatibility is of great significance for biological detection and sensing in narrow spaces. However, the current optical RI nanosensors are mainly fabricated using metals, semiconductors, and quartz, which are not biocompatible and are even biotoxic, and often face a trade-off between a high sensitivity and a high FOM. Moreover, the sensors are mainly based on surface plasmon resonance, photonic crystals, fiber grating, etc., and, thus, most of them usually require a laser source with a specific optical wavelength or harsh excitation conditions, which are likely to cause photodamage and are unfavorable for biological applications. Hence, polylactic acid (PLA), a flexible dielectric material with good biocompatibility, is functioned by doping high refractive index quantum dots (QDs) and fabricated as a nanowire RI sensor. Doping the QDs into a PLA nanowire can improve the light confinement ability and then enhance Mie resonant scattering of the PLA nanowire, which is very beneficial to obtain a higher quality factor and then a higher-performance nanowire sensor. Under irradiation of a white light source, a high sensitivity with 833.78 nm/RIU (per refractive index unit) and the highest FOM of 9.64 RIU−1 are obtained. The good reliability and reproducibility of the sensors are further demonstrated. By choosing a proper diameter, the scattering peak of the nanosensor can be tuned into a biofriendly spectral range (600–900 nm), which predicts that the PLA nanowire RI sensors have a great potential in biological microenvironment monitoring, biosensing, and biomedical treatment.
Mie resonant scattering-based refractive index sensor using a quantum dots-doped polylactic acid nanowire
Weiqi He, Weina Zhang, Jiantian Zhang, Peng Yu, Pu Liu, Guowei Yang, Hongxiang Lei; Mie resonant scattering-based refractive index sensor using a quantum dots-doped polylactic acid nanowire. Appl. Phys. Lett. 13 September 2021; 119 (11): 111106. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0061416
Download citation file: