We demonstrate the surface-plasmon-induced enhancement of Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET)using a model multilayer core-shell nanostructure consisting of an Au core and surrounding FRET pairs, i.e., CdSe quantum dot donors and S101 dye acceptors. The multilayer configuration was demonstrated to exhibit synergistic effects of surface plasmon energy transfer from the metal to the CdSe and plasmon-enhanced FRET from the quantum dots to the dye. With precise control over the distance between the components in the nanostructure, significant improvement in the emission of CdSe was achieved by combined resonance energy transfer and near-field enhancement by the metal, as well as subsequent improvement in the emission of dye induced by the enhanced emission of CdSe. Consequently, the Förster radius was increased to 7.92 nm and the FRET efficiency was improved to 86.57% in the tailored plasmonic FRET nanostructure compared to the conventional FRET system (22.46%) without plasmonic metals.
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