29 October 2012 New Advances in Photonic Antennas

Bowtie nanoaperture antenna

Single molecule nanoimaging by the antenna showing spatial confinement down to 80nm

María García-Parajo and Niek van Hulst collaborate on developing a novel type of photonic antenna probes. ICFO groups Single molecule biophotonics and Molecular nanophotonics report in Nano Letters on a novel type of photonic antennas engineered at the end of a small scanning needle. The newly designed bowtie nanoaperture antenna probes resulted extremely bright, reduced the illumination volume to the nanometre scale and allowed for background-free illumination and detection of individual molecules.

Nanoantennas are being increasingly exploited to optically interconnect free-space propagating optical waves into localized fields for application in nanolithography, optical tweezing, nonlinear optics and control of the fluorescence emission from single emitters. The new antenna geometry offers excellent perspectives as ultrabright optical nanosources for a full range of applications, including cellular nanoimaging, spectroscopy, and biosensing.