Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Nezih Pala

First Advisor's Committee Title

Direct Advisor

Second Advisor's Name

Shekhar Bhansali

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Sakhrat Khizroev

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Ajeet Kaushik

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


Plasmonics, Biosensing, Terahertz metamaterials, Toroidal resonances

Date of Defense



Plasmonics, the science of the excitation of surface plasmon polaritons (SPP) at the metal-dielectric interface under intense beam radiation, has been studied for its immense potential for developing numerous nanophotonic devices, optical circuits and lab-on-a-chip devices. The key feature, which makes the plasmonic structures promising is the ability to support strong resonances with different behaviors and tunable localized hotspots, excitable in a wide spectral range. Therefore, the fundamental understanding of light-matter interactions at subwavelength nanostructures and use of this understanding to tailor plasmonic nanostructures with the ability to sustain high-quality tunable resonant modes are essential toward the realization of highly functional devices with a wide range of applications from sensing to switching.

We investigated the excitation of various plasmonic resonance modes (i.e. Fano resonances, and toroidal moments) using both optical and terahertz (THz) plasmonic metamolecules. By designing and fabricating various nanostructures, we successfully predicted, demonstrated and analyzed the excitation of plasmonic resonances, numerically and experimentally. A simple comparison between the sensitivity and lineshape quality of various optically driven resonances reveals that nonradiative toroidal moments are exotic plasmonic modes with strong sensitivity to environmental perturbations. Employing toroidal plasmonic metasurfaces, we demonstrated ultrafast plasmonic switches and highly sensitive sensors. Focusing on the biomedical applications of toroidal moments, we developed plasmonic metamaterials for fast and cost-effective infection diagnosis using the THz range of the spectrum. We used the exotic behavior of toroidal moments for the identification of Zika-virus (ZIKV) envelope proteins as the infectious nano-agents through two protocols: 1) direct biding of targeted biomarkers to the plasmonic metasurfaces, and 2) attaching gold nanoparticles to the plasmonic metasurfaces and binding the proteins to the particles to enhance the sensitivity. This led to developing ultrasensitive THz plasmonic metasensors for detection of nanoscale and low-molecular-weight biomarkers at the picomolar range of concentration.

In summary, by using high-quality and pronounced toroidal moments as sensitive resonances, we have successfully designed, fabricated and characterized novel plasmonic toroidal metamaterials for the detection of infectious biomarkers using different methods. The proposed approach allowed us to compare and analyze the binding properties, sensitivity, repeatability, and limit of detection of the metasensing devices







Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).