BioNano activities

Plasmonics in Biology

Plasmonics for Biology and NanoMedicine

Project description

Plasmonics, Optical nanoantennas are metallic nanoparticles of 10 to 200 nm in size which find wide application in the engineering of light at nanoscale. Particularly nanoantenna do localize and enhance light fields at the nanoscale. Emitters in close proximity are driven to high emission rate in controlled directed. Both the enhanced sensitivity and resolution open a variety of applications in biology.

The group works on two approaches:
· Surface antenna arrays: tuning the antennas into resonance very efficient detection of single molecules is achieved both by enhanced excitation and quantum efficiency. Low efficiency systems such as light-harvesting complexes can be made to emit brightly.
· Scanning resonant antenna probes: resonant antennas have local enhanced hotspots with <30 nm FWHM, ideal as a scanning nano-light-source for nanoscopy of high density biosamples. Moreover the localization on sub-nm scale allows extreme resolution nanoscopy.

External collaborations

Richard Cogdell, University of Glasgow, UK. C. Neil Hunter FRS, Dept. MolecBio & Biotec, Univ. of Sheffield, UK . Jerome Wenger, Hervé Rigneault, Institut Fresnel, Marseille, France. Benedetta Menucci, University of Pisa, Italy. Lukas Novotny, Nano-Optics, ETH Zurich, Switzerland. Reuven Gordon, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Henkjan Gersen, Dept. Phys., University of Bristol, UK. Iwan Moreels, Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), Genova, Italy. Fernando Stefani, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Klaus Müllen, Max Planck Inst. Polymer research, Mainz, Germany

Selected publications in this project


  • More Photons!

    Nanoantennas shift saturation and bleaching limits. It is an often-told story that plasmonic antennas do enhance excitation, decay rates and quantum efficiency. True, the emission of molecules and Q-dots can be enhanced 100-1000 times. Yet in practice the enhanced emission rapidly touches a saturation limit due to the time a molecule spends in Singlet and … Continue reading →


ERC-Adv.Grant-2014 – n° 670949 LightNet, ERC Adv. Grant 2009 – n° 247330 NanoAntennas), EC 7th Framework Programme project NanoVista (no. 288263), ESF – Research Network Program Plasmon-BioNanosense, MINECO QUACO FIS2012-35527 and FIS2014-55563-REDC, AGAUR SGR 1540, Laser Lab Europe (no. 284464), Fundacio Privada CELLEX Barcelona

▲ Plasmonics in Biology