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Issue 1, 2014
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Unique temporal and spatial biomolecular emission profile on individual zinc oxide nanorods

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Zinc oxide nanorods (ZnO NRs) have emerged in recent years as extremely useful, optical signal-enhancing platforms in DNA and protein detection. Although the use of ZnO NRs in biodetection has been demonstrated so far in systems involving many ZnO NRs per detection element, their future applications will likely take place in a miniaturized setting while exploiting single ZnO NRs in a low-volume, high-throughput bioanalysis. In this paper, we investigate temporal and spatial characteristics of the biomolecular fluorescence on individual ZnO NR systems. Quantitative and qualitative examinations of the biomolecular intensity and photostability are carried out as a function of two important criteria, the time and position along the long axis (length) of NRs. Photostability profiles are also measured with respect to the position on NRs and compared to those characteristics of biomolecules on polymeric control platforms. Unlike the uniformly distributed signal observed on the control platforms, both the fluorescence intensity and photostability are position-dependent on individual ZnO NRs. We have identified a unique phenomenon of highly localized, fluorescence intensification on the nanorod ends (FINE) of well-characterized, individual ZnO nanostructures. When compared to the polymeric controls, the biomolecular fluorescence intensity and photostability are determined to be higher on individual ZnO NRs regardless of the position on NRs. We have also carried out finite-difference time-domain simulations the results of which are in good agreement with the observed FINE. The outcomes of our investigation will offer a much needed basis for signal interpretation for biodetection devices and platforms consisting of single ZnO NRs and, at the same time, contribute significantly to provide insight in understanding the biomolecular fluorescence observed from ZnO NR ensemble-based systems.

Graphical abstract: Unique temporal and spatial biomolecular emission profile on individual zinc oxide nanorods

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Publication details

The article was received on 19 Sep 2013, accepted on 12 Oct 2013 and first published on 16 Oct 2013

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3NR05031A
Citation: Nanoscale, 2014,6, 308-315

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    Unique temporal and spatial biomolecular emission profile on individual zinc oxide nanorods

    M. Singh, S. Song and J. Hahm, Nanoscale, 2014, 6, 308
    DOI: 10.1039/C3NR05031A

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