Fluorophore Coupling to Internal Modes of Bragg Gratings
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Original versionJournal of Physical Chemistry C. 2020, . 10.1021/acs.jpcc.0c08246
Multilayer structures with two dielectrics having different optical constants and no structural features in the x–y plane can display photonic band gaps (PBGs) and are called one-dimensional photonic crystals (1DPCs). If the top layer thickness is carefully selected, the electromagnetic energy can be trapped at the top surface. These highly enhanced fields are called Bloch surface waves (BSWs). The BSW resonance angles are sensitive to the dielectric constant above the top dielectric layer. As a result, BSW structures have been used for surface plasmon resonance-like measurements without the use of a metal film. However, the emphasis on surface-localized BSWs has resulted in limited interest in fluorophore interactions with other optical modes of 1DPCs or Bragg gratings without the different thickness top layer. Herein, three different fluorescent probes were used to cover the short, center, and long wavelengths of the PBG. We demonstrate efficient coupling of fluorophores to both the BSW and internal modes (IMs) of a 1DPC. Coupling to the IM is expected to be low because of the micron-scale distances between the fluorophores and IM, which exists inside the Bragg gratings. At different wavelengths or observation angles, the IM-coupled emission (IMCE) can occur with the first three modes of the multilayer. This coupling is not dependent on a BSW mode. IMCE was also observed for a monolayer of fluorophore-labeled protein. IMCE enables sensitive detection of surface-bound fluorophores. Applications are anticipated in high sensitivity detection and super-resolution imaging.