Nano Research

Article Title

Highly sensitive deep-silver-nanowell arrays (d-AgNWAs) for refractometric sensing


deep-silver-nanowell arrays, colloidal lithography, nanohole, plasmonic, nanostructure, refractometric sensing


ABSTRACT Large-area deep-silver-nanowell arrays (d-AgNWAs) for plasmonic sensing were manufactured by combining colloidal lithography with metal deposition. In contrast to most previous studies, we shed light on the outstanding sensitivity afforded by deep metallic nanowells (up to 400 nm in depth). Using gold nanohole arrays as a mask, a silicon substrate was etched into deep silicon nanowells, which acted as a template for subsequent Ag deposition, resulting in the formation of d-AgNWAs. Various geometric parameters were separately tailored to study the changes in the optical performance and further optimize the sensing ability of the structure. After several rounds of selection, the best sensing d-AgNWA, which had a Ag thickness of 400 nm, template depth of 400 nm, hole diameter of 504 nm, and period of 1 μm, was selected. It had a sensitivity of 933 nm·RIU–1, which is substantially higher than those of most common thin metallic nanohole arrays. As a proof of concept, the as-prepared structure was employed as a substrate for an antigen-antibody recognition immunoassay, which indicates its great potential for label-free real-time biosensing.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press