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Förster resonance energy transfer and the local optical density of states in plasmonic nanogaps

Hamza, Abdullah O.; Viscomi, Francesco N.; Bouillard, Jean Sebastien G.; Adawi, Ali M.


Abdullah O. Hamza

Francesco N. Viscomi


Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) is a fundamental phenomenon in photosynthesis and is of increasing importance for the development and enhancement of a wide range of optoelectronic devices, including color-tuning LEDs and lasers, light harvesting, sensing systems, and quantum computing. Despite its importance, fundamental questions remain unanswered on the FRET rate dependency on the local density of optical states (LDOS). In this work, we investigate this directly, both theoretically and experimentally, using 30 nm plasmonic nanogaps formed between a silver nanoparticle and an extended silver film, in which the LDOS can be controlled using the size of the silver nanoparticle. Experimentally, uranin–rhodamine 6G donor–acceptor pairs coupled to such nanogaps yielded FRET rate enhancements of 3.6 times. This, combined with a 5-fold enhancement in the emission rate of the acceptor, resulted in an overall 14-fold enhancement in the acceptor’s emission intensity. By tuning the nanoparticle size, we also show that the FRET rate in those systems is linearly dependent on the LDOS, a result which is directly supported by our finite difference time domain (FDTD) calculations. Our results provide a simple but powerful method to control FRET rate via a direct LDOS modification.


Hamza, A. O., Viscomi, F. N., Bouillard, J. S. G., & Adawi, A. M. (2021). Förster resonance energy transfer and the local optical density of states in plasmonic nanogaps. Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 12(5), 1507-1513.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 26, 2021
Online Publication Date Feb 3, 2021
Publication Date Feb 11, 2021
Deposit Date Feb 6, 2021
Publicly Available Date Feb 4, 2022
Journal Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Electronic ISSN 1948-7185
Publisher American Chemical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 5
Pages 1507-1513
Keywords Plasmonic nanoparticles; Nanogaps; Fluorescence resonance energy transfer; Nanoparticles; Plasmonics
Public URL
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Accepted Manuscript (4 Mb)

Copyright Statement
This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see 10.1021/acs.jpclett.0c03702

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