Breaking the RET barrier using metamaterials
Resonance Energy Transfer (RET) is a form of direct energy transfer between two dipoles. It has a very precise distance dependence that has allowed the technique to be widely used in particular for determining complex molecular structures. However, it is only effective over ˜ 15 nm separations. I will discuss our proof-of-principle experiments which extend the RET range of effectiveness by an order-of-magnitude and show RET between a donor-acceptor pair separated by 160 nm. This increase is facilitated by using metamaterials a class of custom-made nanophotonic structures that are designed to have unique optical properties, specifically, a topological transition from a closed to an open form which can be tuned for individual RET pairs. We will go over the design of the metamaterial for our experiment and also discuss the experimental demonstration of long distance RET using time resolved and steady state spectroscopy.