A chiral quantum metamaterial for hypersensitive biomolecule detection

Hajji, M. et al. (2021) A chiral quantum metamaterial for hypersensitive biomolecule detection. ACS Nano, 15(12), pp. 19905-19916. (doi: 10.1021/acsnano.1c07408) (PMID:34846858)

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Chiral biological and pharmaceutical molecules are analyzed with phenomena that monitor their very weak differential interaction with circularly polarized light. This inherent weakness results in detection levels for chiral molecules that are inferior, by at least six orders of magnitude, to the single molecule level achieved by state-of-the-art chirally insensitive spectroscopic measurements. Here, we show a phenomenon based on chiral quantum metamaterials (CQMs) that overcomes these intrinsic limits. Specifically, the emission from a quantum emitter, a semiconductor quantum dot (QD), selectively placed in a chiral nanocavity is strongly perturbed when individual biomolecules (here, antibodies) are introduced into the cavity. The effect is extremely sensitive, with six molecules per nanocavity being easily detected. The phenomenon is attributed to the CQM being responsive to significant local changes in the optical density of states caused by the introduction of the biomolecule into the cavity. These local changes in the metamaterial electromagnetic environment, and hence the biomolecules, are invisible to “classical” light-scattering-based measurements. Given the extremely large effects reported, our work presages next generation technologies for rapid hypersensitive measurements with applications in nanometrology and biodetection.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hajji, Dr Maryam and Syme, Dr Christopher and Gilroy, Mr Cameron and Gadegaard, Professor Nikolaj and Cooke, Professor Graeme and Karimullah, Dr Affar and Peveler, Dr William and Kartau, Mr Martin and Kadodwala, Professor Malcolm and Cariello, Dr Michele
Authors: Hajji, M., Cariello, M., Gilroy, C., Kartau, M., Syme, C. D., Karimullah, A., Gadegaard, N., Malfait, A., Woisel, P., Cooke, G., Peveler, W. J., and Kadodwala, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity
College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
Journal Name:ACS Nano
Publisher:American Chemical Society
ISSN (Online):1936-086X
Published Online:30 November 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 American Chemical Society
First Published:First published in ACS Nano 15(12): 19905-19916
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
173324Mapping the mesoscale structural landscape using "sculpted" chiral plasmonic fieldsMalcolm KadodwalaEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/P00086X/1Chemistry
190883Consortium for advanced materials based on spin chiralityStephen McVitieEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/M024423/1P&S - Physics & Astronomy
190828EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sensing and MeasurementAndrew HarveyEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/L016753/1P&S - Physics & Astronomy