Fano-resonant plasmonic metasurface for cancer detection using few-cell spectroscopy and other optical applications in mid-infrared

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2016-06-10

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Arju, Nihal

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The field of metamaterials holds enormous promise in our ability to engineer artificial (‘meta’) material to suit a wide variety of needs. Metamaterials have been designed to achieve electromagnetic cloaking, negative refractive index, perfect absorption and many other phenomena that were thought to be impossible to achieve. Fano resonant metamaterials form a subclass of metamaterials that possess one or more Fano-type resonances. The Fano resonance arises out of interference between two resonance modes with disparate lifetimes. A variety of Fano resonant asymmetric metamaterials (FRAMMs) have been investigated in this dissertation. A circularly dichroic double continuum FRAMM was constructed and the effect of tuning the interference between modes on a Fano resonance has been examined. These metamaterial surfaces (metasurfaces) have strong field confinement. As a result, a small change in the near vicinity of the metasurface creates a detectable change in the metasurface response, which allows the metasurfaces to be used as sensors. The FRAMM was used to detect monolayer of protein otherwise undetectable using Fluorescence microscopy. It was also used to examine different cell types. One promising strategy for early cancer detection involves detecting cancerous cells in the bloodstream. These circulating tumor cells (CTCs) spread through the body and create tumors. Metasurface sensors may be used to conduct spectroscopy on cells in order to spectroscopically identify different cell types, including whether the cells are cancerous or not. A statistical analysis reveals that it is possible to detect different cell types using metasurfaces.

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