Nanophotonic Metasurfaces as novel platform for mid-infrared  sensors

Nanophotonic Metasurfaces as novel platform for mid-infrared  sensors

Description of the activity

We develop nanostructures with unexpected functionalities in terms of optical localization and manipulation. Our experimental work comes from different disciplines, including micro and nanofabrication techniques, bio-chemistry assembly methods, photonics and electronics.
In particular, we develop pixeled plasmonic metasurface, usually composed of nanostructures ordered in engineered arrays, that experience resonant interaction with the incoming electromagnetic radiation. The nanostructures (nanoantennas) are spaced among them and have dimensions lower than the wavelength of the incoming light. Light interaction with conducting electron density of metals or semiconductors enhances specific features that lead to advanced spectroscopies, with unprecedented sensitivity, or imaging systems beyond the diffraction limit. Simply adjusting their shape and size, as well as the array periodicity, allows controlling and manipulating light below the diffraction limit, down to the nanoscale.
We focus on ultra-sensitive IR spectroscopy using the Surface Enhanced Infra-Red Absorption (SEIRA) phenomena, for label-free, non-destructive, real-time, and high-throughput detection and analysis of biomolecules at extremely low concentration.
We introduce new fabrication schemes that can enable high-throughput fabrication of our technologies at low costs, over large areas.
In addition to biochemical sensing and spectroscopy, we also investigate nanophotonics to develop devices for homeland security.

Involved personnel

E. Esposito | A. Crescitelli | V. Di Meo

National and International Collaborations

  • National Research Council (IBB – Institute of Biostructure and Bioimaging)
  • University of Sannio, Fields & Waves Lab, Department of Engineering
  • University of Napoli “Federico II”, Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery
  • University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Department of Experimental Medicine


Electron beam lithography system, Raith 150;
Spin coater system;
Reactive ion etching system, PlasmaPro 80 Oxford Instruments;
DC/RF magnetron sputtering system;
E-beam evaporator system;
Scanning electron microscope, Zeiss;
Atomic force microscope, XE-70 Park Systems;
Optical microscope, BX53MRF Olympus;
Clean room (ISO 5);
Perkin Elmer Spectrum One Fourier-transform IR (FTIR) spectrometer;
Thermo-Nicholet NEXUS Continuum XL (Thermo Scientific) spectrometer.

Active projects and contracts

OPtical Technology In Marine and medical Applications, OPTIMA, PON MIUR, ID 3162831, 2020-2021, P.I.: A. Cutolo, University of Sannio; Project manager ISASI: E. Esposito