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Open Access Nano Express

Controlling interferometric properties of nanoporous anodic aluminium oxide

Tushar Kumeria and Dusan Losic*

Author affiliations

Ian Wark Research Institute, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, Adelaide, South Australia, 5095, Australia

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Citation and License

Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:88  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-88

Published: 26 January 2012


A study of reflective interference spectroscopy [RIfS] properties of nanoporous anodic aluminium oxide [AAO] with the aim to develop a reliable substrate for label-free optical biosensing is presented. The influence of structural parameters of AAO including pore diameters, inter-pore distance, pore length, and surface modification by deposition of Au, Ag, Cr, Pt, Ni, and TiO2 on the RIfS signal (Fabry-Perot fringe) was explored. AAO with controlled pore dimensions was prepared by electrochemical anodization of aluminium using 0.3 M oxalic acid at different voltages (30 to 70 V) and anodization times (10 to 60 min). Results show the strong influence of pore structures and surface modifications on the interference signal and indicate the importance of optimisation of AAO pore structures for RIfS sensing. The pore length/pore diameter aspect ratio of AAO was identified as a suitable parameter to tune interferometric properties of AAO. Finally, the application of AAO with optimised pore structures for sensing of a surface binding reaction of alkanethiols (mercaptoundecanoic acid) on gold surface is demonstrated.

nanoporous alumina; reflective interference spectroscopy; interference spectrum; optical label-free biosensing