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Funding

Research

Nanoplasmomechanical Systems

With their unparalleled mass and force sensitivities, nanomechanical resonators have the potential to considerably improve existing sensor technology. However, one major obstacle still stands in the way of their practical use: The efficient transduction (actuation & detection) of the vibrational motion of such tiny structures. Localized plasmon resonances "focus" optical fields below the diffraction limit of light and present a powerful new method to optically transduce the vibrational motion of nanomechanical structures.

The objective of this project is to establish for the first time a complete plasmonic transduction in novel NanoPlasmoMechanical Systems (NaPlaMS). This new method is easy to implement and enables the freespace addressability and efficient transduction of mesoscopic (sub-wavelength) plasmonic pillar arrays. I will explore the ground-breaking new properties of NaPlaMS pillar arrays in three mutually supporting subprojects (SP). SP1 studies fundamental aspects of plasmomechanics by integrating nanoplasmonic antennas of various geometry and materials on highly force sensitive string resonators. These devices allow the unique optical and mechanical study of i) plasmonic quantum tunneling and ii) optical forces between plasmonic nanostructures of various shapes and materials. SP2 will make use of the strong plasmomechanical light-interaction of the high frequency NaPlaMS pillars for the development of next generation reconfigurable metamaterial for optic modulation. Compared to state-of-the-art bulky and powerhungry modulators, NaPlaMS modulators will be low-power and sub-wavelength-size as required for future optic telecommunication and consumer products. SP3 utilizes the exceptional mass sensitivity of NaPlaMS pillar arrays to create unique mass sensors. The goal is to create a sensor for native & neutral protein mass spectrometry to provide a revolutionary small and cheap tool for proteomics, which will accelerate the development of protein drugs.

Key Publications 

  • Pedram Sadeghi, Kaiyu Wu, Tomas Rindzevicius, Anja Boisen, and Silvan Schmid, "Fabrication and Characterization of Au Dimer Antennas on Glass Pillars with Enhanced Plasmonic Response", Nanophotonics accepted.

Funding 

Team


High-Q resonators

The quality factor (Q) is a measure of the energy loss of a resonator. The higher Q, the lower the loss of energy. A high Q is typically desired in most applications of micro and nanomechanical resonators, e.g., as mass or force sensors, as coupling element in optomechanics, or for fundamental research in quantum mechanics. We are working on minimising mechanics losses and on maximising the stress-induced damping dilution effect particularly in silicon nitride resonators.

Key Publications

  • L. G. Villanueva and S. Schmid, "Evidence of Surface Loss as Ubiquitous Limiting Damping Mechanism in SiN Micro- and Nanomechanical Resonators," Phys. Rev. Lett. 113,  227201 (2014).
  • S. Schmid, K. D. Jensen, K. H. Nielsen, and A. Boisen. “Damping Mechanisms in high-Q Micro and Nanomechanical String Resonators.” Phys. Rev. B 84, 1 (2011).

Team


Nanomechanical photothermal microscopy

Label-free detection and imaging of single nanoparticles and molecules are of fundamental interest in a great variety of fields, due to the applicability to a wider range of samples. For small metal nanoparticles, optical absorption becomes more efficient than scattering, which has enabled the imaging of single Au nanoparticles by optical photothermal imaging.

We are developing a novel photothermal microscopy technique based on the thermal sensitivity of vibrating nanomechanical resonators, such as silicon nitride strings and membranes. This new method enables the visualisation and characterisation of single nanoparticles and nanoplasmonic antennas with unprecedented sensitivity. The goal of this project is a label-free non fluorescent visualisation of individual molecules.

Key Publications

  • S. Schmid, K. Wu, P. E. Larsen, T. Rindzevicius, and A. Boisen, "Low-Power Photothermal Probing of Single Plasmonic Nanostructures with Nanomechanical String Resonators", Nano Lett. 14, 2318-2321.
  • T. Larsen, S. Schmid, L. G. Villanueva, and A. Boisen. “Photothermal Analysis of Individual Nanoparticulate Samples Using Micromechanical Resonators.” ACS Nano 7, 6188 (2013).
  • T. Larsen, S. Schmid, L. Gronberg, A. O. Niskanen, J. Hassel, S. Dohn, and A. Boisen. “Ultrasensitive String-based Temperature Sensors.” Appl. Phys. Lett. 98, 121901 (2011).

Team