Anomalous fluorescence enhancement from double heterostructure 3D colloidal photonic crystals-a multifunctional fluorescence-based sensor platform

Ehsan Eftekhari, Xiang Li, Tak H. Kim, Zongsong Gan, Ivan S. Cole, Dongyuan Zhao, David Kielpinski, Min Gu, Qin Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Augmenting fluorescence intensity is of vital importance to the development of chemical and biochemical sensing, imaging and miniature light sources. Here we report an unprecedented fluorescence enhancement with a novel architecture of multilayer three-dimensional colloidal photonic crystals self-assembled from polystyrene spheres. The new technique uses a double heterostructure, which comprises a top and a bottom layer with a periodicity overlapping the excitation wavelength (E) of the emitters, and a middle layer with a periodicity matching the fluorescence wavelength (F) and a thickness that supports constructive interference for the excitation wavelength. This E-F-E double heterostructure displays direction-dependent light trapping for both excitation and fluorescence, coupling the modes of photonic crystal with multiple-beam interference. The E-F-E double heterostructure renders an additional 5-fold enhancement to the extraordinary FL amplification of Rhodamine B in monolithic E CPhCs, and 4.3-fold acceleration of emission dynamics. Such a self-assembled double heterostructue CPhCs may find significant applications in illumination, laser, chemical/biochemical sensing, and solar energy harvesting. We further demonstrate the multi-functionality of the E-F-E double heterostructure CPhCs in Hg (II) sensing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number14439
Number of pages9
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes

Cite this