Watching a Single Fluorophore Molecule Walk into a Plasmonic Hotspot

Ling Xin, Mo Lu, Steffen Both, Markus Pfeiffer, Maximilian J. Urban, Chao Zhou, Hao Yan, Thomas Weiss, Na Liu, Klas Lindfors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Plasmonic nanoantennas allow for enhancing the spontaneous emission, altering the emission polarization, and shaping the radiation pattern of quantum emitters. A critical challenge for the experimental realizations is positioning a single emitter into the hotspot of a plasmonic antenna with nanoscale accuracy. We demonstrate a dynamic light-matter interaction nanosystem enabled by the DNA origami technique. A single fluorophore molecule can autonomously and unidirectionally walk into the hotspot of a plasmonic nanoantenna along a designated origami track. Successive fluorescence intensity increase and lifetime reduction are in situ monitored using single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy, while the fluorophore walker gradually approaches and eventually enters the plasmonic hotspot. Our scheme offers a dynamic platform, which can be used to develop functional materials, investigate intriguing light-matter interaction phenomena, and serve as prototype system for examining theoretical models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)985-993
Number of pages9
JournalACS Photonics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 17 2019


  • DNA Origami
  • Fluorescence
  • Hotspots
  • Nanoantennas
  • Plasmonics
  • Single molecule spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biotechnology
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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