Date of Award

January 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Julia Zhao


A novel hybrid nanocomposite of Au nanoparticle-modified silicon nanowire was developed for surface enhanced fluorescence applications. The designed nanocomposite contained a silicon nanowire, gold nanoparticles and a silica layer doped with dye molecules. The hybrid nanomaterial was characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), fluorescence measurements, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). The results showed that the gold nanoparticles were uniformly adhered on the silicon nanowires and covered by a thin silica layer. The nanostructure exhibited strong capacity for surface enhanced fluorescence. Different enhancement factors were obtained by changing synthetic conditions.

The second goal of the project was to determine if the shape of gold nanoparticles affects the extent of its fluorescence enhancement under constant external factors. Two shapes of gold nanoparticles were synthesized and characterized by SEM, STEM, zeta potential and absorbance measurements. Then they were coated with fluorescent dye-doped silica and the fluorescence intensity was measured and compared to the pure fluorescent dye. Gold nanorods enhanced fluorescence more than gold nanostars and that the fluorescent dye Alexafluor 700 showed a greater fluorescence intensity change in the presence of nanoparticles than methylene blue.