High Aspect Ratio Plasmonic Nanotrench Structures with Large Active Surface Area for Label-Free Mid-Infrared Molecular Absorption Sensing

Evgeniy Shkondin*, Taavi Repän, Mohammad Esmail Aryaee Panah, Andrei V. Lavrinenko, Osamu Takayama

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

350 Downloads (Pure)


Mid-infrared spectroscopy offers unique sensing schemes to detect target molecules thanks to the absorption of infrared light at specific wavelengths unique to chemical compositions. Due to the mismatch of the mid-infrared light wavelength on the order of micron and nanometer size molecules, the interaction between them is typically weak, resulting in small signatures of absorption. Plasmonics can play an important role, enhancing photon–matter interactions by localization of light in small volumes or areas. Thus, it enables the increase of light absorption by molecules providing higher sensitivity. Here, we demonstrate the enhancement of infrared absorption in plasmonic trench structures that function as hyperbolic metamaterials. The metamaterial is composed of plasmonic trenches made of aluminum-doped zinc oxide. We use a 5 nm thick silica layer as a model analyte conformally coated around the plasmonic trenches, which absorbs light with wavelengths around 8 μm. The enhanced absorption is achieved by the interaction of bulk plasmon modes propagating in the trenches with the analyte silica layer on the pronounced extended surface area of the trench structure. Such plasmonic nanotrench structures may serve as a highly sensitive bio- and chemo-sensing platform for mid-infrared absorption spectroscopy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalACS Applied Nano Materials
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1212-1218
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Mid-infrared absorption spectroscopy
  • Metamaterials
  • Plasmonic materials
  • Transparent conductive oxide
  • Hyperbolic metamaterials
  • Label-free detection
  • Surface-enhanced infrared spectroscopy

Cite this