Sensing applications based on plasmonic nanopores: The hole story
A review of sensing applications based on plasmonic nanopores is given. Many new types of plasmonic nanopores have recently been fabricated, including pores penetrating multilayers of thin films, using a great variety of fabrication techniques based on either serial nanolithography or self-assembly. One unique advantage with nanopores compared to other plasmonic sensors is that sample liquids can flow through the surface, which increases the rate of binding and improves the detection limit under certain conditions. Also, by utilizing the continuous metal films, electrical control can be implemented for electrochemistry, dielectrophoresis and resistive heating. Much effort is still spent on trying to improve sensor performance in various ways, but the literature uses inconsistent benchmark parameters. Recently plasmonic nanopores have been used to analyse targets of high clinical or academic interest. Although this is an important step forward, one should probably reflect upon whether the same results could have been achieved with another optical technique. Overall, this critical review suggests that the research field would benefit by focusing on applications where plasmonic nanopores truly can offer unique advantages over similar techniques.
- This article is part of the themed collection: From nanopores to nanochannels