Nanoprobe (device)

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A nanoprobe in the real world, as opposed to fiction, is an optical device. It was developed by tapering an optical fiber to a tip measuring 100 nm = 1000 angstroms wide. Also, a very thin coating of silver nanoparticles helps to enhance the Raman scattering effect of the light. (The phenomenon of light reflection from an object when illuminated by a laser light is referred to as Raman scattering.) The reflected light demonstrates vibration energies unique to each object (samples in this case), which can be characterised and identified. The silver nanoparticles in this technique provides for the rapid oscillations of electrons, adding to vibration energies, and thus enhancing Raman Scattering—commonly known as surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). These SERS nanoprobes produce higher electromagnetic fields enabling higher signal output—eventually resulting in accurate detection and analysis of samples.

The term nanoprobe also refers more generically to any chemical or biological technique that deals with nanoquantitles, that is, introducing or extracting substances measured in nanoliters or nanograms rather than microliters or micrograms. For example:

  • Introducing nanoparticles in aqueous solution to serve as nanoprobes in electrospray ionization mass spectrometry[1]
  • Extracting nanoquantities of neurochemicals via in vivo microdialysis[2]
  • Using gold-based metallic nanoprobes for Theranostics (therapeutic diagnostics)[3]

In semiconductor manufacturing, nanoprobing is showing potential for conventional IC failure analysis and debugging, as well as for transistor design, circuit, and process development, and even for yield engineering.[4]


  1. ^ Wu, Hui-Fen; Agrawal, Kavita; Shrivas, Kamlesh; Lee, Yi-Hsien (2010). "On particle ionization/enrichment of multifunctional nanoprobes: Washing/separation-free, acceleration and enrichment of microwave-assisted tryptic digestion of proteins via bare TiO2 nanoparticles in ESI-MS and comparing to MALDI-MS". Journal of Mass Spectrometry. 45 (12): 1402–8. PMID 20967754. doi:10.1002/jms.1855. 
  2. ^ Khandelwal, Purnima; Beyer, Chad E.; Lin, Qian; Schechter, Lee E.; Bach, Alvin C. (2004). "Studying Rat Brain Neurochemistry Using Nanoprobe NMR Spectroscopy: A Metabonomics Approach". Analytical Chemistry. 76 (14): 4123–7. PMID 15253652. doi:10.1021/ac049812u. 
  3. ^ Panchapakesan, Balaji; Book-Newell, Brittany; Sethu, Palaniappan; Rao, Madhusudhana; Irudayaraj, Joseph (2011). "Gold nanoprobes for theranostics". Nanomedicine. 6 (10): 1787–811. PMC 3236610Freely accessible. PMID 22122586. doi:10.2217/nnm.11.155. 
  4. ^ Ukraintsev, V. (2014). "Modern trends in processing, metrology, and control for integrated circuits". SPIE Newsroom. doi:10.1117/2.1201312.005247. 

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