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Keywords:

  • Surface plasmon;
  • fluorescence enhancement;
  • gold nanostructures;
  • radiative decay;
  • fluorescence quenching.

Abstract

The authors report on surface plasmon-enhanced fluorescence of Eosin Y molecules induced by gold nanostructures. Al2O3 films deposited by atomic layer deposition with sub-nanometer resolution were used as the spacer layer to control the distance between molecules and the gold surface. As the thickness of the Al2O3 film increased, the fluorescence intensity first increased and then decreased. The highest enhancement factor is achieved with a 1 nm Al2O3 film. However, the trend for the fluorescence lifetime is the opposite. It first decreased and then increased. The changes in the fluorescence quantum yield were also calculated. The yield shows a similar trend to the fluorescence intensity. The competition between the surface plasmon-induced increase in the radiative decay rate and the gold-induced fluorescence quenching is responsible for the observed phenomenon. In addition, this competition strongly depends on the thickness of the spacer layer between Eosin Y molecules and the gold surface.