A Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) simulation is employed to calculate electromagnetic field and charge density distributions at the junction between a gold nanoparticle (NP) tip of a scanning ZnO nanowire and gold NP bio-markers. This three-dimensional simulation calculates the magnetic and electric field components in a large matrix of Yee cells by solving Maxwell’s curl equations. An absorbing boundary condition is included to eliminate reflection back into the simulation chamber. In the specific simulations considered here, a laser pulse of single wavelength is incident on the backside of a transparent silicon dioxide micro-cantilever, and coupled into a ZnO nanowire grown from an opening on a metal coating of the front side of the cantilever. The simulation results reveal local field enhancement between the gold NP tip of the nanowire and only one of three 20 nm gold NPs with a 28 nm empty spacing between two adjacent NPs. The charge density distributions in the gold tip and the gold NP are calculated and correlated with the local field enhancement, which makes the gold tip of the scanning nanowire waveguide attractive for use in imaging gold NP bio-labels on cell membranes.

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