In this work, gold-silica plasmonic nanohybrids have been synthesized as model systems which enable tuning of dye fluorescence enhancement/quenching interactions. For each system, a dye-doped silica core is surrounded by a 15 nm spacer region, which in turn is surrounded by gold nanoparticles (GNPs). The GNPs are either covalently conjugated via mercapto silanization to the spacer or encapsulated in a separate external silica shell. The intermediate spacer region can be either dye doped or left undoped to enable quenching and plasmonic enhancement effects respectively. The study indicates that there is a larger enhancement effect when GNPs are encapsulated in the outer shell compared to the system of external conjugation. This is due to the environmental shielding provided by shell encapsulation compared to the exposure of the GNPs to the solvent environment for the externally conjugated system. The fluorescence signal enhancement of the nanohybrid systems was evaluated using a standard HRP-anti-HRP fluorescence based assay platform.
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