Nanowires for Biosensing: Lightguiding of Fluorescence as a Function of Diameter and Wavelength

Damiano Verardo, Frida W. Lindberg, Nicklas Anttu, Cassandra S. Niman, Mercy Lard, Aleksandra P. Dabkowska, Tommy Nylander, Alf Månsson, Christelle N. Prinz, Heiner Linke*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Semiconductor nanowires can act as nanoscaled optical fibers, enabling them to guide and concentrate light emitted by surface-bound fluorophores, potentially enhancing the sensitivity of optical biosensing. While parameters such as the nanowire geometry and the fluorophore wavelength can be expected to strongly influence this lightguiding effect, no detailed description of their effect on in-coupling of fluorescent emission is available to date. Here, we use confocal imaging to quantify the lightguiding effect in GaP nanowires as a function of nanowire geometry and light wavelength. Using a combination of finite-difference time-domain simulations and analytical approaches, we identify the role of multiple waveguide modes for the observed lightguiding. The normalized frequency parameter, based on the step-index approximation, predicts the lightguiding ability of the nanowires as a function of diameter and fluorophore wavelength, providing a useful guide for the design of optical biosensors based on nanowires.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4796-4802
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • biosensing
  • confocal microscopy
  • fluorescence
  • III-V
  • Nanowires
  • waveguiding


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