To improve detection of pathogens such as HIV and viruses that cause respiratory tract infection, which have molecular fingerprints that are difficult to distinguish, sensors in diagnostic tools need to manipulate light on a nanoscale. However, a method to manufacture these light manipulation devices without damaging the sensors does not yet exist.
Recognizing this, a team of researchers at Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN) has integrated light manipulation devices called 3D plasmonic nanoarrays onto peelable films that can stick to any surface. They tested the sticker-nanoarray’s capabilities on the lenses of sensors, which make up conventional imaging systems. The Air Force Research Laboratory, which supported the work, helped to validate the sticker’s performance and properties.