Research ArticlePHYSICS

Angle-multiplexed all-dielectric metasurfaces for broadband molecular fingerprint retrieval

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Science Advances  17 May 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 5, eaaw2871
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw2871


Infrared spectroscopy resolves the structure of molecules by detecting their characteristic vibrational fingerprints. Subwavelength light confinement and nanophotonic enhancement have extended the scope of this technique for monolayer studies. However, current approaches still require complex spectroscopic equipment or tunable light sources. Here, we introduce a novel metasurface-based method for detecting molecular absorption fingerprints over a broad spectrum, which combines the device-level simplicity of state-of-the-art angle-scanning refractometric sensors with the chemical specificity of infrared spectroscopy. Specifically, we develop germanium-based high-Q metasurfaces capable of delivering a multitude of spectrally selective and surface-sensitive resonances between 1100 and 1800 cm−1. We use this approach to detect distinct absorption signatures of different interacting analytes including proteins, aptamers, and polylysine. In combination with broadband incoherent illumination and detection, our method correlates the total reflectance signal at each incidence angle with the strength of the molecular absorption, enabling spectrometer-less operation in a compact angle-scanning configuration ideally suited for field-deployable applications.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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