Tatsuya Shoji, Daiki Sugo, Fumika Nagasawa, Kei Murakoshi, Noboru Kitamura, and Yasuyuki Tsuboi
We demonstrate that a poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) microassembly, formed by plasmonic optical trapping, can provide the platform for a highly sensitive detection technique for fluorescent and nonfluorescent organic molecules dissolved in aqueous solution. PNIPAM microassemblies can be easily formed by a combination with a photothermal effect and an enhanced optical force. These physical phenomena were obtained through resonant excitation of localized surface plasmon (LSP). Sparsely distributed fluorescent or nonfluorescent molecules dissolved in solution can be extracted into the PNIPAM assembly, resulting in an increase in fluorescence or Raman signals. In particular, we successfully detected quite small amounts of analytes (rhodamine B) at the 10–9 mol/L level. Using LSP is an alternative approach in analytical chemistry and can be used in addition to surface enhanced Raman scattering and surface enhanced fluorescence.