Ultraviolet surface plasmon-coupled emission using thin aluminum films

Ignacy Gryczynski, Joanna Malicka, Zygmunt Gryczynski, Kazimierz Nowaczyk, Joseph R. Lakowicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Surface plasmon-coupled emission (SPCE) is the directional radiation of light into a substrate due to excited fluorophores above a thin metal film. To date, SPCE has only been observed with visible wavelengths using silver or gold films. We now show that SPCE can be observed in the ultraviolet region of the spectrum using thin (20 nm) aluminum films. We observed directional emission in a quartz substrate from the DNA base analogue 2-aminopurine (2-AP). The SPCE radiation occurs within a narrow angle at 59° from the normal to the hemicylindrical prism. The excitation conditions precluded the creation of surface plasmons by the incident light. The directional emission at 59° is almost completely p-polarized, consistent with its origin from surface plasmons due to coupling of excited 2-AP with the aluminum. The emission spectra and lifetimes of the SPCE are those characteristic of 2-AP. Different emission wavelengths radiate at slightly different angles on the prism providing intrinsic spectral resolution from the aluminum film. These results indicate that SPCE can be used with numerous UV-absorbing fluorophores, suggesting biochemical applications with simultaneous surface plasmon resonance and SPCE binding assays.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4076-4081
Number of pages6
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number14
StatePublished - 15 Jul 2004


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