Selective and sensitive detection of metal ions by plasmonic resonance energy transfer-based nanospectroscopy

Yeonho Choi, Younggeun Park, Taewook Kang, Luke P. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

227 Citations (Scopus)


Highly selective and sensitive optical methods for the detection of metal ions have had a substantial impact on molecular biology1-3, environmental monitoring4-10 and other areas of research. Here we demonstrate a new method for detecting metal ions that is based on selective plasmonic resonance energy transfer (PRET) between conjugated metal-ligand complexes and a single gold nanoplasmonic probe. In addition to offering high spatial resolution due to the small size of the probe, our method is 100 to 1,000 times more sensitive than organic reporter-based methods3-8. Moreover, it can achieve high selectivity owing to the selective formation of Cu2+ complexes and selective resonant quenching of the gold nanoplasmonic probe by the conjugated complexes. We expect that PRET-based metal ion sensing could have applications in cellular imaging, systems biology and environmental monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)742-746
Number of pages5
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Nov
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from the Center for Nanostructured Materials and Technology under the 21st Century Frontier R&D Programs of the Korea Ministry of Science and Technology.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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