Detection of single nanoparticles or molecules has often relied on fluorescent schemes. However, fluorescence detection approaches limit the range of investigable nanoparticles or molecules. Here, we propose and demonstrate a non-fluorescent nanoscopic trapping and monitoring platform that can trap a single sub-5-nm particle and monitor it with a pair of floating nonlinear point sources. The resonant photon funnelling into an extremely small volume of ~5 × 5 × 7 nm3 through the three-dimensionally tapered 5-nm-gap plasmonic nanoantenna enables the trapping of a 4-nm CdSe/ZnS quantum dot with low intensity of a 1560-nm continuous-wave laser, and the pumping of 1560-nm femtosecond laser pulses creates strong background-free second-harmonic point illumination sources at the two vertices of the nanoantenna. Under the stable trapping conditions, intermittent but intense nonlinear optical spikes are observed on top of the second-harmonic signal plateau, which is identified as the 3.0-Hz Kramers hopping of the quantum dot trapped in the 5-nm gap.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)