Enhancing infrared response of adsorbed biomaterials using ellipsometry and textured surfaces

Daniel W. Thompson, John A. Woollam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Infrared spectra are of interest for numerous applications because of the chemical bond information present in the absorption characteristics. Obtaining meaningful infrared spectra from monolayers adsorbed to surfaces can be difficult because of the small amount of material being probed. For instance, it is often of interest to probe adsorbates on a surface after exposure to a protein solution. Use of textured (patterned) surfaces to increase the mass of material sensed is expected to enhance these spectra. Here the infrared ellipsometric enhancement is calculated for a layer of adsorbate on a number of proposed nanostructured surfaces to predict which is most advantageous for obtaining infrared spectra. The approach used here could also be applied to other adsorbates by optimizing the pattern dimensions for different sizes. It also works for visible spectroscopy as long as pattern dimensions are significantly smaller than the wavelength. The effect of using these structures (rods, wells, and trenches) is compared to the response of flat metal or dielectric surfaces over a range of incidence angles of the infrared beam. Predicted sensitivities are based on the calculated effect of adsorbate on intensities in an ellipsometric measurement. Trench structures appear to have significant advantages both in sensitivity and ability to distinguish adsorbed species orientation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-164
Number of pages18
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2005


  • Ellipsometry
  • Infrared
  • Protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Spectroscopy


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