We demonstrate mid-infrared spectroscopic imaging using a unique optical fiber probe consisting of an array of Ge waveguide cores embedded in a silica fiber matrix. Biological tissue slices are characterized to illustrate its potential endoscopic uses. The fiber probe based transmission measurements show excellent agreement with the result obtained from standard Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy transmission measurements in the wavelength range of 3289.8 nm to 3383.3 nm, where fat and muscle tissues could be spectroscopically distinguished.
We report a non-contact method that utilizes fluorescence lifetime (FL) to characterize morphological changes of a tunable plasmonic nanostructure with nanoscale accuracy. The key component of the plasmonic nanostructure is pH-responsive polyelectrolyte multilayers (PEMs), which serve as a dynamically tunable "spacer" layer that separates the plasmonic structure and the fluorescent materials. The validity of our method is confirmed through direct comparison with ellipsometry and atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements. Applying the FL-based approach, we find that a monolayer polycation film responds to pH changes with significantly less hysteresis than a thicker multilayer film with polyelectrolytes of both charges. Additionally, we characterize an active and tunable plasmonic nanostructure composed of self-assembled fluorescent dye (Texas Red), pH-sensitive PEMs, and gold nanospheres adsorbed on the PEM surface. Our results point towards the possibility of using stimulus-sensitive polymers to construct active and tunable plasmonic nanodevices.
Micro- and nano-patterned fluorescent materials are important for many photonic devices and applications. In this paper, we investigate the impact of three common lithographical techniques, deposition and removal of sacrificial masks, ultraviolet ablation, and focused ion beam milling, on self-assembled fluorophores. We find that different patterning techniques can dramatically change the fluorescence lifetime of the fluorophores and that the degree of modification depends on the patterning techniques.
Pomegranate rind has been reported to inhibit several foodborne pathogens, and its antimicrobial activity has been attributed mainly to its tannin fraction. This study aimed to investigate the antimicrobial activity of the tannin-rich fraction from pomegranate rind (TFPR) against Listeria monocytogenes and its mechanism of action. The tannin-related components of TFPR were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, and the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of TFPR was determined using the agar dilution method. Extracellular potassium concentration, the release of cell constituents, intra- and extracellular ATP concentrations, membrane potential, and intracellular pH (pHin) were measured to elucidate a possible antibacterial mechanism. Punicalagin (64.2%, g/g) and ellagic acid (3.1%, g/g) were detected in TFPR, and the MICs of TFPR were determined to be 1.25-5.0?mg/mL for different L. monocytogenes strains. Treatment with TFPR induced a decrease of the intracellular ATP concentration, an increase of the extracellular concentrations of potassium and ATP, and the release of cell constituents. A reduction of pHin and cell membrane hyperpolarization were observed after treatment. Electron microscopic observations showed that the cell membrane structures of L. monocytogenes were apparently impaired by TFPR. It is concluded that TFPR could destroy the integrity of the cell membrane of L. monocytogenes, leading to a loss of cell homeostasis. These findings indicate that TFPR has the potential to be used as a food preservative in order to control L. monocytogenes contamination in food and reduce the risk of listeriosis.
With extremely low material absorption and exceptional surface smoothness, silica-based optical resonators can achieve extremely high cavity quality (Q) factors. However, the intrinsic material limitations of silica (e.g., lack of second order nonlinearity) may limit the potential applications of silica-based high Q resonators. Here we report some results in utilizing layer-by-layer self-assembly to functionalize silica microspheres with nonlinear and plasmonic nanomaterials while maintaining Q factors as high as 10(7). We compare experimentally measured Q factors with theoretical estimates, and find good agreement.
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