Self-assembly Of Polystyrene Nanospheres And Its Applications As Templates For Plasmonic Structures
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Monodispersed colloidal polystyrene spheres have been self-assembled into various structures as templates for the fabrication of different nanostructures. Two unique self-assembly processes have been developed and systematically investigated. A method to make the multi-layer and mono-layer close-packed structure by means of capillary-convective force has been developed. By directly visualizing the self-assembling process using optical microscopy, a mechanism based on the 2-D crystal formation and 3-D repulsive force model has been proposed to explain the process. A vertical deposition technique to produce nanosphere crystal structure with single orientation on hydrophilic glass substrate has also been developed. Using a lithographically patterned substrate with alternating areas of glass and Au, self-assembled crystal structures can be generated on the hydrophobic Au surface. It has been found that the contact angle of the colloid solution on the substrates controls this self-assembly process.Using self-assembled polystyrene nanosphere crystals as templates, Au nanovoid arrays, in which the voids about several hundreds of nanometer in diameter are embedded in a gold film with a thickness less than the void diameter, have been fabricated by templated electrodeposition. In order to use Au nanovoid arrays as surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) sensors on optical fiber tips for in situ and in vivo applications, a new structure has been designed. In such structure, each void has optical openings on both sides of the nanovoid array, one side is mounted to the fiber tip surface for introduction of incident light and collection of scattered light and the other side is for interrogation of analyte molecules in the voids. The effect of structural parameters, including void diameter, Au film thickness, and the bottom hole diameter of the nanovoid arrays on the electric field confinement are investigated using three-dimensional finite difference time domain (FDTD) simulation. Fiber-based SERS sensing applications have successfully been demonstrated.