Distance control in-between plasmonic nanoparticles via biological and polymeric spacers

Xiang Yu, Dangyuan Lei, Faheem Amin, Raimo Hartmann, Guillermo P. Acuna, Andrés Guerrero-Martínez, Stefan A. Maier, Philip Tinnefeld, Susana Carregal-Romero, Wolfgang J. Parak

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


For detailed experimental studies about the electromagnetic coupling between plasmonic nanoparticles, precisely-controlled nanoparticle groupings with adjustable inter-particle distance would be required. In the present review article, the possibilities of generating such groupings by using biological and polymeric spacers in between the nanoparticles are described. In particular, streptavidin-biotin and DNA are discussed as biological spacers, and layer-by-layer (LbL) assembled films as polymeric spacers. The concepts are visualized by experimental data, which also point out the pitfalls and current limits of such approaches. Calculation results reveal that while small variations in the diameter of plasmonic cores lead to small changes, small variations in the inter-particle distance due to soft linkers result in significant changes in plasmonic coupling. In the case of protein-based spacers, nonspecific adsorption has to be considered as an obstacle for the formation of controlled groupings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)480-493
Number of pages14
JournalNano Today
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Biological linkers
  • Colloidal nanoparticles
  • Plasmonics
  • Polymeric linkers
  • Size distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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