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Plasmon Enhanced Terahertz Electron Paramagnetic Resonance

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PETER (Plasmon Enhanced Terahertz Electron Paramagnetic Resonance)

Reporting period: 2018-01-01 to 2018-12-31

Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) is a powerful technique finding its applications in many scientific areas covering chemistry, biology, medicine, materials science, physics and others. EPR has an unprecedented selectivity but relatively low sensitivity compared to other spectroscopic techniques, which makes EPR (working in the microwave spectral region) impractical for low-spin-density materials, especially when the imaging mode for heterogeneous samples is needed. In the project we propose a qualitatively new approach into the EPR area. It builds upon the strong enhancement and subwavelength spatial resolution of magnetic sensing field provided by plasmonic effects based on collective oscillations of electrons at surfaces or in nanostructures. In contrast to usual THz plasmon-enhanced spectroscopy of nonmagnetic materials, we build upon magnetic plasmonic resonances. This presents unprecedented implementation of plasmonic phenomena into EPR technique. Plasmon-enhanced Terahertz Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (PE THz EPR) spectroscopy and scanning microscopy is developed as a radically novel method for the local analysis of paramagnetic organic and inorganic species and materials with significantly enhanced sensitivity (by four orders of magnitude) and unprecedented spatial resolution. Such a significant enhancement of the EPR performance will for instance open new ways in magnetic sensing technologies enabling to study in situ functional centres in a wide variety of materials, and, generally, trigger the development of the EPR-employing industry.
"During the first period (M1-M12) the project generated the following outputs:
- Minutes of the Kick-Off meeting (+technical discussion) (M1)
- WP3 deliverables (Visual Identity, Quality Plan, Data Management Plan, Communication and Dissemination Plan)
- Concept of Plasmonic Structures (M6) and PS design for plasmon enhanced EPR (M12)
- Specifications of the PE EPR microscope (M6) and Progress Report on the SPM unit for PE EPR microscopy (M12)
- a peer-reviewed publication ""Understanding the Image Contrast of Material Boundaries in IR Nanoscopy Reaching 5 nm Spatial Resolution"" in ACS Photonics (DOI:10.1021/acsphotonics.8b00636)
- Minutes of Status and Progress Meetings in M6, M10 and M12
- Summer school on EPR, plasmonics and THz techniques at CEITEC Brno (3. - 5. 10. 2018)
This project is of a foundational nature as it establishes a basis for a new line of technology currently not anticipated. We will transform EPR spectroscopy from a niche technique to one that is ubiquitously present in science and society, opening a new dimension in materials research and in healthcare, security and energy storage, revolutionizing other areas where plasmonics and imaging are combined, and generating a research field of its own in EPR imaging.
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