Magnesium as a Novel UV Plasmonic Material for Fluorescence Decay Rate Engineering in Free Solution

We report modification of the ultraviolet (UV) fluorescence decay rate of p-terphenyl dye molecules by magnesium (Mg) nanoapertures in free solution, in comparison with aluminum (Al). Mg nanoapertures exhibit a lifetime reduction of up to ∼7.2×, which to our knowledge is the largest lifetime reduction of a UV fluorescence dye reported so far in the literature. In comparison, Al nanoapertures exhibit a lifetime reduction of ∼5.3×, exceeding the previously reported value ∼3.5× due to smaller aperture size employed here. Simulation results reveal large plasmon resonance frequency shifts between Mg and Al nanoapertures, contributing to different lifetime reductions, where average lifetime reductions of Mg nanoapertures are greater than those of Al nanoapertures with diameters smaller than 40 nm. The dependence of count rate per molecule (CRM) on aperture size and aperture undercut is also reported, revealing that CRM increases with increasing undercut.