Rare-earth-DNA-nanotube complexes for bio-sensing applications

Project: Research project

Project Details


This project will study near-field optics of nanoscale complexes of rare earth ions with DNA-wrapped nanotubes for bio-sensing applications. A new class of rare earth based bio-compatible materials will be explored. In these materials DNA-wrapped nanotube, functionalized with bio-analytes for optical sensing, will serve as a plasmonic nano-antenna. The approach is to apply a theoretical modeling along with an optical characterization, to understand the near-field interaction between nanotube plasmonic modes and rare-earth emitter in the presence of surrounding bio-molecules.

The intellectual merit is in understanding the physics of the near-field electromagnetic modes in the rare-earth/DNA/nanotube complexes, developing schemes for their bio-functionalization and exploring effects of surrounding environment on their near-field response. This will lead to developing new nano-materials and optimizing it for bio-sensor applications on a long run.

The broader impact will include dissemination of accumulated fundamental knowledge to undergraduate and graduate students at Lehigh University as well as to students from other PA Schools via the web-based inter-university network MatPAC. Research results will be disseminated to local industry, via the Lehigh Nanotech Network, and to other Lehigh part¬ners from industry, national labs and academia. The K-12 outreach program will include lectures at local schools in Lehigh Valley and contributions to the exhibition at the National facility ? DaVinci Discovery Center. STEM enhancement programs are planned for teachers from local Community Colleges and Kutztown University. Research will benefit the REU and GAAN programs of the Physics Department, with special attention paid to strong involvement from STEM-under¬rep¬re¬sen¬ted groups.

Effective start/end date6/1/125/31/16


  • National Science Foundation: $381,974.00


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