As COVID-19 swept across the world this year, claiming hundreds of thousands of lives, it quickly became clear that one essential factor for controlling its spread is the ability to rapidly and accurately test for the virus causing it.
As COVID-19 swept across the world this year, claiming hundreds of thousands of lives, it quickly became clear that one essential factor for controlling its spread is the ability to rapidly and accurately test for the virus causing it, SARS-CoV-2, as well as the antibodies it produces.
Now, scientists from The University of New Mexico and the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) in Spain have published a new study that they say could contribute to faster and more effective testing for viruses like SARS-CoV-2. Their work, titled "Super- and Subradient Lattice Resonances in Bipartite Nanoparticle Arrays," was published in the journal ACS Nano.
Led by Assistant Professor Alejandro Manjavacas from the Theoretical Nanophotonics Group of the UNM Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Antonio Fernańdez-Domínguez from UAM, the work falls under the realm of nanophotonics, the field that studies the interactions between light and objects that have sizes on the order of hundreds of nanometers. For reference, the thickness of a human hair is approximately 40,000 nm, while the size of the virus causing COVID-19 is 125 nm.
Many applications of nanophotonics, including ultrasensitive biosensing, which is needed to detect viruses like SARS-CoV-2, and nanoscale lasing, which can be used to produce coherent light of a desired color, rely on systems that only respond to a very narrow range of colors, or, in other words, wavelengths of light. One way to design systems with spectrally narrow responses like this is to take advantage of the collective interactions between a collection of metallic nanoparticles, tiny structures with nanoscale dimensions, arranged in an ordered fashion called a periodic array.
Continue reading at University of New Mexico.
Image via University of New Mexico.