Optical properties of zero mode waveguides

K. T. Samiee, Harold G. Craighead

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Single molecule fluorescence techniques have contributed considerably to our understanding of a variety of biological systems. Unfortunately, single molecule techniques are fundamentally limited by the concentration of fluorescent species and volume being observed. Nanofabricated structures have emerged as ideal tools for volume confinement in fluorescence spectroscopy. This has allowed the extension of single molecule techniques to high concentration regimes. Zero Mode Waveguides, nanometer scale holes in a thin metal film produce observation volumes in the attoliter to zeptoliter range. These structures have been used to measure protein kinetics in the micro molar concentration range as well as for observations of polymerase incorporating single nucleotide bases. We have investigated the optical properties of these structures using a combination of fluorescence spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and optical transmission measurements in an effort to accurately model the optical properties of these structures. These measurements have allowed a detailed characterization of the optical behavior of sub-wavelength apertures in a thin metal film.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number59690W
JournalProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005
EventPhotonic Applications in Biosensing and Imaging - Toronto, ON, Canada
Duration: Sep 12 2005Sep 14 2005


  • FCS
  • Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy
  • Observation Volume

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Optical properties of zero mode waveguides'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this