Article

A reconfigurable plasmofluidic lens

  • Nature Communications 4, Article number: 2305 (2013)
  • doi:10.1038/ncomms3305
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Abstract

Plasmonics provides an unparalleled method for manipulating light beyond the diffraction limit, making it a promising technology for the development of ultra-small, ultra-fast and power-efficient optical devices. To date, the majority of plasmonic devices are in the solid state and have limited tunability or configurability. Moreover, individual solid-state plasmonic devices lack the ability to deliver multiple functionalities. Here we utilize laser-induced surface bubbles on a metal film to demonstrate, for the first time, a plasmonic lens in a microfluidic environment. Our ‘plasmofluidic lens’ is dynamically tunable and reconfigurable. We record divergence, collimation and focusing of surface plasmon polaritons using this device. The plasmofluidic lens requires no sophisticated nanofabrication and utilizes only a single low-cost diode laser. Our results show that the integration of plasmonics and microfluidics allows for new opportunities in developing complex plasmonic elements with multiple functionalities, high-sensitivity and high-throughput biomedical detection systems, as well as on-chip, all-optical information processing techniques.

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Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award (1DP2OD007209-01), the National Science Foundation (ECCS-1102206; CMMI-1120724), AFOSR MURI (Award No. FA9550-12-10488), the research start-up fund and TIER-1 grant of Northeastern University, and the Penn State Centre for Nanoscale Science (MRSEC) under grant DMR-0820404. Components of this work were conducted at the Penn State node of the NSF-funded National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network. We thank Joseph Rufo, Justin Kiehne and Yuliang Xie for helpful discussion and Qingzhen Hao for preparing the gold film.

Author information

Author notes

    • Chenglong Zhao
    •  & Yongmin Liu

    These authors contributed equally to this work

Affiliations

  1. Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA

    • Chenglong Zhao
    • , Yanhui Zhao
    •  & Tony Jun Huang
  2. Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA

    • Yongmin Liu
  3. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA

    • Yongmin Liu
  4. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA

    • Nicholas Fang

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Contributions

C.Z. conceived the idea, designed the structure and conducted the experiment. C.Z. and Y.L. wrote the manuscript. Y.L. and N.F. conducted theoretical analysis. Y.Z. fabricated the samples. T.J.H. supervised the whole project. All authors contributed to the scientific discussion and revision of the article.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Tony Jun Huang.

Supplementary information

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    Supplementary Information

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