Sunday, November 30, 2008

US Patent 7456972 - Surface plasmon induction in MWCNTs

Surface plasmon resonance is an effect commonly associated with biosensor applications and for which metal coated dielectric nanoparticles are being used as the resonant material. However, such metal nanoshells can be difficult to fabricate and cause unwanted heat generation. this patent from Clemson university teaches an alternative way to achieve the SPR effect using carbon nanotubes. Claim 1 reads:

1. An optical device comprising:

a carbon nanotube, wherein surface plasmons exist on the carbon nanotube;

a substrate, wherein the substrate allows the coupling of photons with the surface plasmons to give rise to surface plasmon polaritons;

a light source, wherein the light source provides photons to a first end of the carbon nanotube to give rise to the surface plasmon polaritons, and photonic energy is radiated from the surface plasmon polaritons at a second end of the carbon nanotube; and

a detector for detecting the photonic energy radiated from the surface plasmon polaritons.