Terahertz probe of individual subwavelength objects in a water environment

Masini, Luca and Meucci, Sandro and Xu, Jihua and Degl'Innocenti, Riccardo and Castellano, Fabrizio and Beere, Harvey E. and Ritchie, David and Balduzzi, Donatella and Puglisi, Roberto and Galli, Andrea and Beltram, Fabio and Vitiello, Miriam S. and Cecchini, Marco and Tredicucci, Alessandro (2014) Terahertz probe of individual subwavelength objects in a water environment. Laser and Photonics Reviews, 8 (5). pp. 734-742. ISSN 1863-8880

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Abstract

Terahertz (THz) spectroscopy and imaging have been heralded for some time as potentially revolutionary techniques for biomedical applications. Label-free detection of molecules and recognition of molecular events are often mentioned as the most exciting possibilities. A crucial practical goal, however, is the ability to perform such measurements on tiny amounts of biological fluids or even on individual organic structures. Living cells, for instance, have diameters at most of some tens of micrometers, i.e. at least λ/10 even for few-THz radiation. Furthermore, all analyses relevant for a biological perspective must be performed in a water environment, which presents a strong absorption across the whole THz spectral range, severely limiting the penetration of the electromagnetic field. Here, it is shown how both issues can be overcome with a lab-on-a-chip approach based on a microfluidic platform coupled to a plasmonic antenna. Using a quantum cascade laser as THz illumination source, liquid volumes down to the picoliter range are probed, and direct operation on individual 10-μm diameter microparticles flowing in water is shown. The present demonstration opens the way to the development of THz biosensing of individual living cells and small probe volumes. A THz lab-on-a-chip device based on a microfluidic platform coupled to an integrated plasmonic antenna is shown. Using a quantum cascade laser as illumination source, liquid volumes down to the picoliter range are probed. A proof-of-concept experiment is performed in which single 10-μm diameter (∼ λ/10) microparticles flowing in water are identified and investigated. The present demonstration opens the way to the development of THz biosensing of individual living cells and small probe volumes.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Laser and Photonics Reviews
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3100/3104
Subjects:
ID Code:
89521
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
08 Jan 2018 14:54
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
26 Aug 2020 03:16