Honors College Thesis

 

Synthesis and SERS : Reproducible Nanostar Plasmons and a Study of Optical Enhancement Public

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  • Gold nanostars are a relative newcomer to the nanoparticle scene, and their unique properties make them very desirable for spectroscopic applications. These nanoparticles, with their sharp tips, create electric field enhancements that interact with light in an advantageous way. This Thesis outlines our in-depth study of gold nanostar synthesis, the factors that influence it, and a novel technique for creating these particle with a reproducible plasmon band. This plasmon band gives rise to the Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) and Metal Enhanced Fluorescence (MEF) effects. Our goal is to design innovative new biosensors using these phenomena to increase the number of microRNA’s we can detect, increase sensitivity, and develop new tools for medical diagnostics. This Thesis covers are initial endeavors into these fields and characterizes how our gold nanostars enhance signals and the factors influencing their optical response. We demonstrate the capability to obtain MEF and obtain highly sensitive SERS measurements, which are the first steps in utilizing these technologies for future biosensors. Key Words: Gold Nanostar, Plasmon, Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS), Reproducibility
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