Plasmonic Optical Wells-Based Enhanced Rate PCR

Seungyeon Han, Hyun Ji An, Taejin Kwak, Miseol Kim, Dongchoul Kim, Luke P. Lee, Inhee Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Rapid, sensitive, inexpensive point-of-care molecular diagnostics are crucial for the efficient control of spreading viral diseases and biosecurity of global health. However, the gold standard, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is time-consuming and expensive and needs specialized testing laboratories. Here, we report a low-cost yet fast, selective, and sensitive Plasmonic Optical Wells-Based Enhanced Rate PCR: POWER-PCR. We optimized the efficient optofluidic design of 3D plasmonic optical wells via the computational simulation of light-to-heat conversion and thermophoretic convection in a self-created plasmonic cavity. The POWER-PCR chamber with a self-passivation layer can concentrate incident light to accumulate molecules, generate rapid heat transfer and thermophoretic flow, and minimize the quenching effect on the naked Au surface. Notably, we achieved swift photothermal cycling of nucleic acid amplification in POWER-PCR on-a-chip in 4 min 24 s. The POWER-PCR will provide an excellent solution for affordable and sensitive molecular diagnostics for precision medicine and preventive global healthcare.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1738-1745
Number of pages8
JournalNano Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - 7 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

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© 2024 American Chemical Society.


  • PCR
  • light confinement
  • photothermal heating
  • plasmonics
  • preconcentration


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