Fiber-Coupled Imaging Spectroscopy
A plasmonic fiber optic tip for spectroscopy systems capable of improving data quality and operational efficiency in nanotechnology surface inspections.
Commercialization Readiness Levels™
Fiber-Coupled Metal - Tip Near - Field Chemical Imaging Spectroscopy
Dr. Zhenrong Zang
Department of Physics
Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (TERS) is a technique used to measure chemical information about a sample at resolutions as low as 1 nanometer. This technology takes a new approach to TERS by using fiber optics to both deliver and collect light required for raman spectroscopy to an extremely focused area. This is accomplished using a pulled fiber optic that has been coated with plasmonic material at the tip. The plasmonic tip couples with the surface plasmons of the material, allowing light to be added and extracted through the same fiber. Fiber TERS vastly simplifies the technique of TERS when coupled to an atomic force microscope (AFM) or scanning tunneling microscope (STM).
Most commercial instruments require significant time to set-up and expertise to operate.
Significantly reduces setup time
Increases speed and accuracy of data collection
Maintains compatibility with existing instrumentation
Compatible with aqueous samples and environments
Minimizes technical services requirement
Note - TERS is currently not performed with fiber optics and requires a camera and light source (LASER) to focus independently. Fiber optics are used for another mostly-unrelated technique called NSOM (near-field scanning optical microscope). However, these lack tip enhancement and are not compatible with aqueous (i.e., biological) samples.
This transformative platform technology represents a massive leap in usability and capability for existing TERS applications and potentially expands its use to thermal and biological analysis.
Stage of Development
This proof-of-concept system has been tested with STM to collect data on quantum dots and on wet-lab samples. Inventors are exploring additional spectroscopy approaches including near-field infrared.
TECHNOLOGY READINESS LEVEL:
TRL 4 for STM
TRL 2 for AFM
Businesses can commercialize the technology by licensing U.S. Patent US 10145799B2 from Baylor.
Licensees may have the opportunity to pursue collaborative research with the inventors.
Testing data may be available to companies evaluating the technology.
Blueprints guides businesses through licensing and follow-on research; services provided at no cost.
Key man (doctoral student) is interested in pursuing a role with the licensee or start-up.
Dr. Zhenrong Zhang
Department of Physics, Baylor