In this work, we present a simple and effective method to fabricate distance-controllable, Au nanorod (AuNR) chips thorough electrostatic assembly. Cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB)-capped AuNRs were immobilized on a hydroxyl-functionalized glass substrate by immersion of the glass into AuNR-suspension. The electrostatic surfacial assembly of AuNRs offers significant advantages over conventional thiol-induced chemistry, i.e., direct control of self-assembly of AuNRs, easy fabrication in ambient environment and most importantly, broad range of tunable inter-particle distance, ranging from 0.25 to 10μm. The mechanism of time-dependant deposition process of AuNRs was described via competitive bindings of AuNRs and free CTAB molecules in AuNR-suspension. In addition, the electrostatically anchored AuNRs on a glass substrate provide sufficient stability under harsh experimental conditions with flow of basic/acidic solutions and organic solvents with different polarity. The feasibility of the AuNR-chips fabricated by the proposed method for single-nanoparticle plasmonic biosensors was demonstrated by the plasmonic measurement of aptamer-thrombin binding event. The corresponding limit of detection of thrombin molecule was found to be ∼278. pM based on the signal to noise ratio of 4. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
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