The detection performance of conventional surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensors is limited to a 1pg/mm2 surface coverage of biomolecules, and consequently, such sensors struggle to detect the interaction of small molecules in low concentrations. The present study is attempted to propose the use of a novel SPR biosensor with Au nanoclusters embedded in a dielectric film to achieve a 10-fold improvement in the resolution performance. A co-sputtering method utilizing a multi-target sputtering system is used to fabricate the present dielectric films (SiO2) with embedded Au nanoclusters. It is shown that the sensitivity of the developed SPR biosensor can be improved by adjusting the size and volume fraction of the embedded Au nanoclusters in order to control the surface plasmon effect. The present gas detection and DNA hybridization experimental results confirm that the proposed Au nanocluster-enhanced SPR biosensor provides the potential to achieve an ultrahigh-resolution detection performance of approximately 0.1pg/mm 2 surface coverage of biomolecules.
- Au nanoclusters
- Optical biosensor
- Surface plasmon resonance
- Surface-enhanced Raman scattering