Plasmonic Biofoam: A Versatile Optically Active Material. Academic Article uri icon


  • Owing to their ability to confine and manipulate light at the nanoscale, plasmonic nanostructures are highly attractive for a broad range of applications. While tremendous progress has been made in the synthesis of size- and shape-controlled plasmonic nanostructures, their integration with other materials and application in solid-state is primarily through their assembly on rigid two-dimensional (2D) substrates, which limits the plasmonically active space to a few nanometers above the substrate. In this work, we demonstrate a simple method to create plasmonically active three-dimensional biofoams by integrating plasmonic nanostructures with highly porous biomaterial aerogels. We demonstrate that plasmonic biofoam is a versatile optically active platform that can be harnessed for numerous applications including (i) ultrasensitive chemical detection using surface-enhanced Raman scattering; (ii) highly efficient energy harvesting and steam generation through plasmonic photothermal heating; and (iii) optical control of enzymatic activity by triggered release of biomolecules encapsulated within the aerogel. Our results demonstrate that 3D plasmonic biofoam exhibits significantly higher sensing, photothermal, and loading efficiency compared to conventional 2D counterparts. The design principles and processing methodology of plasmonic aerogels demonstrated here can be broadly applied in the fabrication of other functional foams.

published proceedings

  • Nano Lett

altmetric score

  • 11.1

author list (cited authors)

  • Tian, L., Luan, J., Liu, K., Jiang, Q., Tadepalli, S., Gupta, M. K., Naik, R. R., & Singamaneni, S.

citation count

  • 128

complete list of authors

  • Tian, Limei||Luan, Jingyi||Liu, Keng-Ku||Jiang, Qisheng||Tadepalli, Sirimuvva||Gupta, Maneesh K||Naik, Rajesh R||Singamaneni, Srikanth

publication date

  • January 2016