Low-temperature fabrication and characterization of a symmetric hybrid organic–inorganic slab waveguide for evanescent light microscopy
Journal article, 2018

Organic and inorganic solid materials form the building blocks for most of today's high-technological instruments and devices. However, challenges related to dissimilar material properties have hampered the synthesis of thin-film devices comprised of both organic and inorganic films. We here give a detailed description of a carefully optimized processing protocol used for the construction of a three-layered hybrid organic–inorganic waveguide-chip intended for combined scattering and fluorescence evanescent-wave microscopy in aqueous environments using conventional upright microscopes. An inorganic core layer (SiO2 or Si3N4), embedded symmetrically in an organic cladding layer (CYTOP), aids simple, yet efficient in-coupling of light, and since the organic cladding layer is refractive index matched to water, low stray-light (background) scattering of the propagating light is ensured. Another major advantage is that the inorganic core layer makes the chip compatible with multiple well-established surface functionalization schemes that allows for a broad range of applications, including detection of single lipid vesicles, metallic nanoparticles or cells in complex environments, either label-free—by direct detection of scattered light—or by use of fluorescence excitation and emission. Herein, focus is put on a detailed description of the fabrication of the waveguide-chip, together with a fundamental characterization of its optical properties and performance, particularly in comparison with conventional epi illumination. Quantitative analysis of images obtained from both fluorescence and scattering intensities from surface-immobilized polystyrene nanoparticles in suspensions of different concentrations, revealed enhanced signal-to-noise and signal-to-background ratios for the waveguide illumination compared to the epi-illumination.

Author

Björn Agnarsson

Chalmers, Physics, Biological Physics

Mokhtar Mapar

Chalmers, Physics, Biological Physics

Mattias Sjöberg

Chalmers, Physics, Biological Physics

Mohammadreza Alizadehheidari

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Chemical Biology

Fredrik Höök

Chalmers, Physics, Biological Physics

Nano Futures

2399-1984 (eISSN)

Vol. 2 2 025007

Subject Categories

Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics

Other Physics Topics

Nano Technology

DOI

10.1088/2399-1984/aac25d

More information

Latest update

9/6/2018 7