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Submicrometer Spatial Resolution of Metal-Enhanced Fluorescence

Volume 57, Number 12 (Dec. 2003) Page 1592-1598

Pugh, Vincent J.; Szmacinski, Henryk; Moore, Wayne E.; Geddes, Chris D.; Lakowicz, Joseph R.

Enhanced fluorescence emission intensity from fluorescein was observed on glass slides covered with thin films of silver nanoparticles using a confocal laser-scanning microscope. The silver nanoparticle film increased the emission intensity of fluorescein by an average of at least three-fold in the area studied. Statistics are given on the enhancement of individual areas of the silver particle film with a resolution of approximately 210 nm. A histogram of intensity values indicates that the enhancement appears to occur without distinct subpopulations, with the exception that very high intensity subpopulations may occur but could not be resolved. Spatial features with dimensions near or smaller than the resolution limit of the confocal microscope, on the silver nanoparticle slide that enhanced the emission of fluorescein, were found using autocorrelation functions. These spatial features are of the same size as those found from the emission of slides containing silver nanoparticles only. These spatial features do not appear in control slides containing fluorescein without any silver nanoparticles. No long-range spatial ordering of the fluorescence enhancement on chemcially deposited silver nanoparticle slides was detected.