To improve the detection of pathogens with difficult-to-distinguish molecular fingerprints, such as HIV and viruses that cause respiratory tract infection, sensors in diagnostic tools require nanoscale light manipulation. However, there is no way to make these light manipulation devices without damaging the sensors.
Recognizing this, researchers created 3D plasmonic nanoarrays, light manipulation devices that can stick to any surface. They tested the capabilities of the sticker-nanoarray on the lenses of sensors used in conventional imaging systems.
Unlike previous approaches, the process occurs in distilled water at room temperature, with no chemical, thermal, or mechanical treatments that could harm sensitive surfaces like a sensor lens.
The researchers built the nanoarrays into a film on a silicon wafer to be used as a sticker. When immersed in distilled water, the film cleanly peels away from the wafer, allowing it to be reused. The film can then adhere to the desired surface without causing damage to it.
This light manipulation methodology, which allows 3D plasmonic nanoarrays to physically separate from a donor wafer and transfer to another surface without defect, offers a significant cost- and time-saving factor in the manufacturing scheme.
The researchers also demonstrated that the process applies to various 3D plasmonic nanoarrays in lateral and vertical configurations, adding functionality.