, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 279-287
Date: 03 Apr 2007

Microwave-Triggered Chemiluminescence with Planar Geometrical Aluminum Substrates: Theory, Simulation and Experiment

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Previously we combined common practices in protein detection with chemiluminescence, microwave technology, and metal-enhanced chemiluminescence to demonstrate that we can use low power microwaves to substantially increase enzymatic chemiluminescent reaction rates on particulate silvered substrates. We now describe the applicability of continuous aluminum metal substrates to potentially further enhance or “trigger” enzymatic chemiluminescence reactions. Furthermore, our results suggest that the extent of chemiluminescence enhancement for surface and solution based enzyme reactions critically depends on the surface geometry of the aluminum film.

In addition, we also use FDTD simulations to model the interactions of the incident microwave radiation with the aluminum geometries used. We demonstrate that the extent of microwave field enhancement for solution and surface based chemiluminescent reactions can be ascribed to “lightning rod” effects that give rise to different electric field distributions for microwaves incident on planar aluminum geometries. With these results, we believe that we can spatially and temporally control the extent of triggered chemiluminescence with low power microwave (Mw) pulses and maximize localized microwave triggered metal-enhanced chemiluminescence (MT-MEC) with optimized planar aluminum geometries. Thus we can potentially further improve the sensitivity of immunoassays with significantly enhanced signal-to-noise ratios.