Suspended, micron-scale corner cube retroreflectors as ultra-bright optical labels

Tim Sherlock, Azeem Nasrullah, Julia Litvinov, Eliedonna Cacao, Jennifer Knoop, Steven Kemper, Katerina Kourentzi, Archana Kar, Paul Ruchhoeft, Richard Willson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Corner cube retroreflectors are objects with three mutually perpendicular reflective surfaces that return light directly to its source and are therefore extremely bright and easy to detect. In this work, we have fabricated suspended corner cube retroreflectors, 5 microns in size, consisting of a transparent epoxy core and three surfaces coated with gold as ultra-bright labels for use in a rapid, low-labor diagnostic platform. The authors have demonstrated that individual cubes are easily imaged using low-cost, low numerical aperture objectives in suspension and that they remain suspended over long periods of time. Moreover, we have demonstrated that the gold outer surfaces can be decorated with proteins, and that individual cubes can be bound to magnetic sample preparation particles bearing antibodies which recognize these proteins. The bound cubes can be imaged and tracked as they move through solution in response to an external magnetic field, and we have, as such, demonstrated the principle of the new biosensing approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number06FA01
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology B:Nanotechnology and Microelectronics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry

Cite this

Sherlock, T., Nasrullah, A., Litvinov, J., Cacao, E., Knoop, J., Kemper, S., Kourentzi, K., Kar, A., Ruchhoeft, P., & Willson, R. (2011). Suspended, micron-scale corner cube retroreflectors as ultra-bright optical labels. Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B:Nanotechnology and Microelectronics, 29(6), [06FA01].