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Journal Article

Plasmonic gas and chemical sensing


Liu,  Na
Research Group Smart Nanoplasmonics for Biology and Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Max Planck Society;

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Tittl, A., Giessen, H., & Liu, N. (2014). Plasmonic gas and chemical sensing. Nanophotonics, 3(3), 157-180. doi:10.1515/nanoph-2014-0002.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-2CD2-7
Sensitive and robust detection of gases and chemical reactions constitutes a cornerstone of scientific research and key industrial applications. In an effort to reach progressively smaller reagent concentrations and sensing volumes, optical sensor technology has experienced a paradigm shift from extended thin-film systems towards engineered nanoscale devices. In this size regime, plasmonic particles and nanostructures provide an ideal toolkit for the realization of novel sensing concepts. This is due to their unique ability to simultaneously focus light into subwavelength hotspots of the electromagnetic field and to transmit minute changes of the local environment back into the farfield as a modulation of their optical response. Since the basic building blocks of a plasmonic system are commonly noble metal nanoparticles or nanostructures, plasmonics can easily be integrated with a plethora of chemically or catalytically active materials and compounds to investigate processes ranging from hydrogen absorption in palladium to the detection of trinitrotoluene (TNT). In this review, we will discuss a multitude of plasmonic sensing strategies, spanning the technological scale from simple plasmonic particles embedded in extended thin films to highly engineered complex plasmonic nanostructures. Due to their flexibility and excellent sensing performance, plasmonic structures may open an exciting pathway towards the detection of chemical and catalytic events down to the single molecule level.