Plasmon-coupled photocapacitor neuromodulators
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
American Chemical Society
35940 - 35949
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Efficient transduction of optical energy to bioelectrical stimuli is an important goal for effective communication with biological systems. For that, plasmonics has a significant potential via boosting the light−matter interactions. However, plasmonics has been primarily used for heat-induced cell stimulation due to membrane capacitance change (i.e., optocapacitance). Instead, here, we demonstrate that plasmonic coupling to photocapacitor biointerfaces improves safe and efficacious neuromodulating displacement charges for an average of 185% in the entire visible spectrum while maintaining the faradic currents below 1%. Hotelectron injection dominantly leads the enhancement of displacement current in the blue spectral window, and the nanoantenna effect is mainly responsible for the improvement in the red spectral region. The plasmonic photocapacitor facilitates wireless modulation of single cells at three orders of magnitude below the maximum retinal intensity levels, corresponding to one of the most sensitive optoelectronic neural interfaces. This study introduces a new way of using plasmonics for safe and effective photostimulation of neurons and paves the way toward ultrasensitive plasmon-assisted neurostimulation devices.