Raman fingerprinting of single dielectric nanoparticles in plasmonic nanopores†
Plasmonic nano-apertures are commonly used for the detection of small particles such as nanoparticles and proteins by exploiting electrical and optical techniques. Plasmonic nanopores are metallic nano-apertures sitting on a thin membrane with a tiny hole. It has been shown that plasmonic nanopores with a given geometry identify internal molecules using Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS). However, label-free identification of a single dielectric nanoparticle requires a highly localized field comparable to the size of the particle. Additionally, the particle's Brownian motion can jeopardize the amount of photons collected from a single particle. Here, we demonstrate that the combination of optical trapping and SERS can be used for the detection and identification of 20 nm polystyrene nanoparticles in plasmonic nanopores. This work is anticipated to contribute to the detection of small bioparticles, optical trapping and nanotribology studies.