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Congratulations to our new paper”Two-Dimensional Plasmonic Biosensing Platform: Cellular Activity Detection under Laser Stimulation” by Sajede Saeidifard, Foozieh Sohrabi, Mohammad Hossein Ghazimoradi, Seyedeh Mehri Hamidi, Shirin Farivar, Mohammad Ali Ansari

Combing biosensors and nanoscience as a growing technique provides great advantages such as a label-free and real time analysis, high sensitivity, low limit of detection, small size and integration to other systems. That is why plasmonics finds various applications in drug detection, food safety, agriculture, photothermal therapy, etc. In this paper, we have fabricated a two-dimensional plasmonic grating biosensor using soft lithography technique, which has eliminated some disadvantages of conventional plasmonic structures like expensive fabrication cost, inflexibility and lack of mass production. On the other hand, we benefited from infrared neural stimulation for regulating membrane depolarization, which is based on photothermal mechanism and provides a contact-free and high spatial/temporal resolution. Eventually, membrane depolarization of two different cell-types of Herpg Hodode (Hep G2) and Mesenchymal stem cell cultured on two-dimensional plasmonic has been investigated under infrared neural stimulation. After preparing the soft plasmonic crystal, its reflection spectra and respective ellipsometry parameters were analyzed before and after cell culture with/without stimulation (near-infrared immune region ~1450 nm). By comparing the obtained ellipsometry results for HEP G2 and mesenchymal stem cells, it is observed that the behavior of two cell types with respect to IR stimulation is the same besides providing us the possibility of distinguishing the level of membrane depolarization under various stimulating frequency.
The strength point of this integrated system for membrane depolarization detection has been shown experimentally which can open new avenues toward neuroplasmonic application in the future.

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Congratulations to our new paper “Signature of plasmonic nanoparticles in multi-wavelength low power random lasing” by S. F. Haddawi, Hammed R. Humud, S. M. Hamidi 

A multi-wavelength plasmonic random lasing is attained by core-shell nanoparticles and the mixture of metallic nanoparticles in the host dye medium. The plasmonic nanoparticles, fabricated using laser ablation in liquid, were mixed in the corresponding dye medium and pumped with green nano-second pulsed laser. Due to this optical pumping process of plasmonic nanoparticles, amplification of the fluorescence and the lasing activity took place due to the localized surface plasmon resonance and scattering of each nanoparticle, core-shell and mixture nanoparticles. Our results show efficient coherent random lasing due to the interface between two different metallic nanoparticles in the middle part of the visible spectral region considering its applicability in the design and fabrication of compact and miniaturized random laser sources.

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Congratulations to our new paper “Bi:YIG@Au Magneto-Plasmonic Core-Shell Nano-Grating with Robust, High Magneto-Optical Figure of Merit” by Somayeh Sadeghi, Seyedeh Mehri Hamidi

We numerically examine the role of Fano resonance for enhanced magneto-optical effect in an arrayed magneto-plasmonic core-shell structure composed of Bi:YIG cores as a magneto-optical active medium and Au sells as plasmonic ones. The optical and magneto-optical behavior of the magneto-plasmonic core-shell grating structure sustaining Fano resonance is investigated by means of Lumerical software based on the finite-difference time-domain solver. In the proposed structure, Fano resonance arises from the interplay between the guided mode and the surface plasmon resonance which results in enhanced magneto-optical Faraday effect. In addition, the Fano resonance and correspond enhanced magneto-optical effect can be tuned by changing the array period of the structure. The obtained results can be of interest in miniaturized and advanced magneto-optical devices.

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Congratulations to our new paper  ” One dimensional photonic crystal as an efficient tool for in-vivo optical sensing of neural activity ” by Foozieh Sohrabia, Seyedeh Mehri Hamidia,*, Nasrin Asgaria, Mohammad Ali Ansari, Roya Gachilooa

In this paper, we recorded optically the neural/neuromuscular activity of alive worm via phase-sensitive measurement while stimulating it optically using infrared laser. By supporting Tamm plasmon mode, our fabricated
multilayer structure of Glass/(TiO2/SiO2)12/Au was used as a sensing platform. By fixing an earth worm to the gold side of the structure and using open optic measurements, the amplitude ratio (Ψ) and phase shift (Δ) of reflections under s- and p-polarized incident lights have been recorded for different frequencies and pulse duration of IR laser. By increasing the pulse duration to 17ms, Δ and Ψ values of Tamm Plasmon Polariton resonance for different frequencies have been splitted considerably in a regular trend. We hope that the combination of plasmonics and Tamm plasmon mode can open new insights into non-invasive neural/neuromusular stimulation and recording.

Ψ parameter for pulse duration time of (a) 3ms (b) 5ms (c) 8ms (d) 17ms for IR frequencies of 3 Hz, 5.5 Hz and 7 Hz at θ=30°.
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Congratulations to our new paper “Bio-compatible and highly sensitive two-dimensional plasmonic sensor ” by A.S. Nasiri, S. M. Hamidi

We propose a novel bio-compatible two dimensional plasmonic sensor with array of ring and the hole structure on an optically thick gold film for biochemical sensing. We use finite-difference time-domain simulation for design and calculation of sensitivity in the Near-Infrared Region. The bio-compatible and cheap plasmonic Glycerol sensor with high sensitivity by interferometer style as a motif in the sensor’s structure. The proposed sensor can be applied as highly sensitivity sensor with a good linear response under different glycerol concentrations.

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Congratulations to our new paper ” Electrically driven flexible two dimensional plasmonic structure based on nematic liquid crystal ” by Hossein Mbarak, Seyedeh Mehri Hamidi, Ezeddin Mohajerani and Z Zattar

A novel two dimensional active plasmonic grating based on liquid crystal (LC) infiltration is demonstrated by combining the plasmonic properties of the gold nanostructure and the optical properties of the liquid crystal. In this structure, a thin layer of E7 liquid crystal was typically injected onto a gold nanostructure, deposited on a PDMS substrate, using nanoimprint lithography method. The surface plasmon resonance (SPR) of the fabricated plasmonic structure can be controlled by changing the refractive index of LC, which was achieved with an external electric field. LC molecules confined between the gold nanostructure and an indium–tin-oxide (ITO) glass are randomly aligned, and they can exhibit a reversible refractive index, depending on their orientation under the external voltage and the polarization of the incident light. Results demonstrates that the wavelength of the resonance peak can be red shifted by the electric field-dependent refractive index of liquid crystal. This experimental work provides us an active control of surface plasmon resonance using liquid crystal which can act as an ideal active medium for different applications such as low voltage sensor with the sensitivity of 0.4375nm/V.

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Recognizing special molecules is crucial in many biochemical processes, and thus, highly enhanced sensing methods are in high demand. In this work, we designed a microrod array metasurface with a SiO2-loaded subwavelength lithium niobate waveguide as a unique platform for enhanced experimental fingerprint detection of lactose. The metasurface could lead to strong surface wave modes due to the near-field coupling of the spoof localized surface plasmon, which also could provide a stronger interaction length between light and matter. The selectivity was remarkable in the transmission spectrum at an intrinsic characteristic frequency of 0.529 THz with a thin layer of lactose, while it was faint while transmitting terahertz (THz) waves normally through a lactose layer of the same thickness. Together with the ability to freely design the shape of the metasurface and the electromagnetic properties, we believe that this platform can function as an elegant on-chip-scale enhanced THz sensing platform.

(a) Schematic of THz detection of an analyte using a microrod array metasurface
as an on-chip sensor. A column of y-polarized dipoles located inside the LN
waveguide is used to excite THz waves (blue oscillation signal). The thickness of
the SiO2 layer is h¼2 lm. The inset shows the detailed design parameters: p, a,
l and g are 20, 10, 55, and 15 lm, respectively. (b) Enhanced field confined to the
surface of the composite structure. (c) and (d) Distribution of the field components
Ey and Ez at f¼0.529 THz.

In summary, we show the potential of a platform relying on a microrod array metasurface with a SiO2-loaded LN subwavelength waveguide as a generic design for THz sensing. Remarkable selectivity can be seen from the experimental and simulated transmission spectra with a minute amount of the analyte. The stronger confinement of surface wave modes owing to near-field SLSP coupling and the longer interaction length along the waveguide would effectively increase the molecular absorption, thereby enabling detection of a thin lactose layer. Meanwhile, the results agree well with each other. This is difficult to distinguish with normally incident THz waves transmitting through a lactose of the same thickness without a metasurface. The myriad of geometries for the composite structure provides engineers with enormous flexibility to design sensing platforms that operate over a broad range of frequencies. We believe that this platform is truly simple and efficient while providing a versatile method for enhanced fingerprint detection in the THz regime. This would bring THz sensing benefits to mainstream applications.

For more information: doi: 10.1063/1.5087609

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Congratulations to our new paper “Role of higher order plasmonic modes in one-dimensional nanogratings ” by Foozieh Sohrabi, Seyedeh Mehri Hamidi, Ershad Mohammadi

By theoretically investigating the optical behavior of one-dimensional gold nanogratings using Fourier Modal Method, we have shown that both integer and non-integer multiples of surface plasmon polariton wavelengths should be taken into consideration in special optical contrast ratio for highly sensitive sensing. The emergence of higher modes is the key factor for the formation of observed plasmonic band gap. Through considering the significant role of grating period and thickness respectively in horizontal and vertical surface resonances, it was demonstrated that for gold thicknesses below 100 nm, the dominant phenomenon is horizontal surface resonances while for increased thicknesses both horizontal and vertical surface resonances mediate. The transmission minima are insensitive to the grating thickness, which confirms that their origins are not vertical surface resonances. This study can open an avenue towards designing highly sensitive sensors with focus not only on the plasmonic resonance wavelength but also on its integer and non-integer multiples whose origins should be investigated in both horizontal and vertical surface resonances.

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Plant leaves have a natural superpower—they’re designed with water repelling characteristics. Called a superhydrophobic surface, this trait allows leaves to cleanse themselves from dust particles. Inspired by such natural designs, a team of researchers at Texas A&M University has developed an innovative way to control the hydrophobicity of a surface to benefit to the biomedical field. applications in the biomedical field including biosensing, lab-on-a-chip, blood-repellent, anti-fouling and self-cleaning applications. Superhydrophobic materials are used extensively for self-cleaning characteristic of devices. However, current materials require alteration to the chemistry or topography of the surface to work. This limits the use of superhydrophobic materials. “Designing hydrophobic surfaces and controlling the wetting behavior has long been of great interest, as it plays crucial role in accomplishing self-cleaning ability,” Gaharwar said. “However, there are limited biocompatible approach to control the wetting behavior of the surface as desired in several biomedical and biotechnological applications.” The Texas A&M design adopts a ‘nanoflower-like’ assembly of two-dimensional (2-D) atomic layers to protect the surface from wetting. The team recently released a study published in Chemical Communications. 2-D nanomaterials are an ultrathin class of nanomaterials and have received considerable attention in research. Gaharwar’s lab used 2-D molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), a new class of 2-D nanomaterials that has shown enormous potential in nanoelectronics, optical sensors, renewable energy sources, catalysis and lubrication, but has not been investigated for biomedical applications. This innovative approach demonstrates applications of this unique class of materials to the biomedical industry.

This innovative technique opens many doors for expanded applications in several scientific and technological areas. The superhydrophobic coating can be easily applied over various substrates such as glass, tissue paper, rubber or silica using the solvent evaporation method. These superhydrophobic coatings have wide-spread applications, not only in developing self-cleaning surfaces in nanoelectronics devices, but also for biomedical applications. Specifically, the study demonstrated that blood and cell culture media containing proteins do not adhere to the surface, which is very promising. In addition, the team is currently exploring the potential applications of controlled hydrophobicity in stem cell fate.

For more information:
https://phys.org/news/2019-07-superhydrophobic-nanoflower-biomedical-applications.html

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Congratulations to our new paper “Adjustable plasmonic bandgap in one-dimensional nanograting based on localized and propagating surface plasmons” by Foozieh Sohrabi and Seyedeh Mehri Hamidi.

Compared to the long history of plasmonic gratings, there are only a few studies regarding the bandgap in the propagation of plasmonic surface waves. Considering the previous studies on interpretation of plasmonic bandgap formation, we discuss this phenomenon using the effect of both surface plasmon polariton (SPP) and localized surface plasmon (LSP) for our fabricated one-dimensional metallic-polymeric grating. This structure is composed of metallic grating on the surface of PDMS with different concentration of embedded gold nanoparticles. By sweeping the incident angles, we have seen that the SPP, LSP and their coupling cause two gaps in reflection regime which are originated from SPP supported by thin film gold film and LSP supported by gold nanoparticles. The first gap is attributed to the patterned metallic film because it vanishes by increasing the nanoparticles which may destroy the pattern while the second gap can be formed by embedded nanoparticles because it becomes more considerable by raising the incubation time.  Therefore, the drowning time of patterned samples (e.g. 24h. 48h and 72h) in HAuCl4 plays the key role in adjustability of plasmonic bandgap. Notably, the interaction between SPP and LSP can be the origin of the shift in gap center from 300 to 550. To best of over knowledge, this study is the first study on the plasmonic band gap as a function of both SPP and LSP.


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