Research Supervisor Connect

Upconverting nanoparticle in DNA-linked plasmonic dimer for biosensing


This project aims to develop a solution-based plasmonic enhanced biosensor.


Associate Professor Stefano Palomba.

Research location

School of Physics

Program type



In this project, we want to engineer and study a plasmonic dimer, constituted by a gold nanorod coated with a thin glass film, an upconverting nanoparticle, a DNA link bonded to a gold nanosphere. In this way, the upconverting nanoparticle (UPN) is sandwiched in the middle between a nanorod and a nanoparticle. In these conditions the nanoparticle should be quenched by the gold nanosphere. Only when this system interacts with a specific molecule of interest, then one of the DNA links is broken and the upconverting nanoparticle will fluoresce. The gold nanorod serves as an enhancer of the fluorescence signal. This can be used as background free biosensing method. We have already prepared the UPNs and tested their emission. We are currently attaching them to Au nanorods to probe the enhanced luminescence. This project could also have applications in organic solar cell enhancement as well as a potential new method for LED TVs.

Additional information

HDR Inherent Requirements  

In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include:   

  • Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;
  • Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
  • Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;  
  • Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);  
  • Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;  
  • Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden);  
  • Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;  
  • Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);  
  • Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;  
  • Hold a current scuba diving license;  
  • Hold a current Working with Children Check;  
  • Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.)   

You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

Want to find out more?

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 2698

Other opportunities with Associate Professor Stefano Palomba