21. Nanostructured Optical Waveguides for Thin-Film Characterization

  1. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Knoll7 and
  2. Prof. Dr. Rigoberto C. Advincula8
  1. Hatice Duran1,2,
  2. K. H. Aaron Lau3,
  3. Petra J. Cameron4,
  4. Antonis Gitsas5,
  5. Martin Steinhart6 and
  6. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Knoll7

Published Online: 7 JUN 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9783527638482.ch21

Functional Polymer Films: 2 Volume Set

Functional Polymer Films: 2 Volume Set

How to Cite

Duran, H., Lau, K. H. A., Cameron, P. J., Gitsas, A., Steinhart, M. and Knoll, W. (2011) Nanostructured Optical Waveguides for Thin-Film Characterization, in Functional Polymer Films: 2 Volume Set (eds W. Knoll and R. C. Advincula), Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany. doi: 10.1002/9783527638482.ch21

Editor Information

  1. 7

    AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Donau-City-Straße 1, 1220 Vienna, Austria

  2. 8

    University of Houston, Department of Chemistry, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 136 Fleming Bldg., Houston, TX 77204-5003, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Max-Planck-Institute for, Polymer Research, Ackermannweg 10, 55128 Mainz, Germany

  2. 2

    TOBB University of, Economics and Technology, Turkey

  3. 3

    Northwestern University Department of Biomedical Engineering, 2145 Sheridan Road Tech E210 Evanston, IL 60202, USA

  4. 4

    University of Bath, Department of Chemistry, Bath BA2 7AY, UK

  5. 5

    Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), Donau-City-Str. 1, 1220 Vienna, Austria

  6. 6

    Universität Osnabrück, Institut für Chemie, 49069 Osnabrück, Germany

  7. 7

    AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Donau-City-Straße 1, 1220 Vienna, Austria

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 7 JUN 2011
  2. Published Print: 20 APR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9783527321902

Online ISBN: 9783527638482



  • optical waveguides;
  • thin-film characterization;
  • optical waveguide spectroscopy;
  • cylindrical nanostructures;
  • mesoporous waveguides;
  • nanorod arrays


In this review, we summarize some of our efforts in parallel with other research groups' studies in designing, assembling, and structurally and functionally characterizing nanostructured materials using optical waveguide spectroscopy (OWS). We focus on the study of porous nanostructures: (i) cylindrical thin films (ii) mesoporous thin films, and (iii) nanorod arrays as optical waveguides for high sensitivity biosensing. We discuss the waveguiding properties of these thin films in the visible wavelengths and theoretical description of nanostructured hybrid optical waveguides by effective medium theory (EMT). We demonstrate how high sensitivity can be achieved by modifying pore walls with small functional groups (i.e. silanes) as well as polypeptide brushes. When using also mesoporous semiconducting materials (TiO2) hybrid architectures, simultaneous measurement of OWS and electrochemistry can be possible with very interesting photophysical properties that can be useful also for solar-cell applications. Other strategies for using the anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) layers as a template mold include the growth of metal or polymeric nanorod arrays from different functional monomers that after the dissolution of the template are still able to guide light. This opens up novel concepts for integrated optics platforms with nanostructured materials.