Fluorescence intensity changes were investigated theoretically and experimentally using self-assembled colloidal structures on silver semitransparent mirrors. Using a simplified quasi-static model and finite element method, we demonstrate that near-field interactions of metallic nanostructures with a continuous metallic surface create conditions that produce enormously enhanced surface plasmon resonances. The results were used to explain the observed enhancements and determine the optimal conditions for the experiment. The theoretical parts of the studies are supported with reports on detailed emission intensity changes which provided multiple fluorescence hot spots with 2-3 orders of enhancements. We study two kinds of the fluorophores: dye molecules and fluorescent nanospheres characterized with similar spectral emission regions. Using a lifetime-resolved fluorescence/reflection confocal microscopy technique, we find that the largest rate for enhancement (~1000-fold) comes from localized areas of silver nanostructures.
- fluorescence lifetime imaging
- metal-enhanced fluorescence
- plasmonic platform