As metal nanorods show much higher metal enhanced fluorescence (MEF) than metal nanospheres, microfluidic-based MEF is first explored with Ag nanorod (ND) arrays made by oblique angle deposition. By measuring the fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) solution sandwiched between the Ag NDs and a piece of cover slip, the enhancement factors (EFs) are found as 3.7 ± 0.64 and 6.74 ± 2.04, for a solution thickness at 20.8 μm and 10 μm, respectively. Because of the strong plasmonic coupling between the adjacent Ag NDs, only the emission of the fluorophores present in the three-dimensional NDs array gets enhanced. Thus, the corresponding effective enhancement factors (EEFs) are revealed to be relatively close, 259 ± 92 and 340 ± 102, respectively. To demonstrate the application of MEF in microfluidic systems, a multilayer of SiO2 NDs/Ag NDs is integrated with a capillary electrophoresis device. At a microchannel depth of 10 μm, an enhancement of 6.5 fold is obtained for amino acids separation detection. These results are very encouraging and open the possibility of MEF applications for the Ag ND arrays decorated microchannels. With the miniaturization of microfluidic devices, microfluidic-based MEF by Ag ND arrays will likely find more applications with further enhancement.
Xiao, Chenyu, Zhen Cao, Junhong Deng, Zhifeng Huang, Zheng Xu, Junxue Fu, Levent Yobas