Tunable infrared absorption by metal nanoparticles: The case for gold rods and shells

World Gold Council
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Gold Bulletin, 2008, 41 (1), pp. 5 - 14
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Nanoparticles of elements such as Au, Al or Ag have optical extinction cross-sections that considerably surpass their geometric cross-sections at certain wavelengths of light. While the absorption and scattering maxima for nanospheres of these elements are relatively insensitive to particle diameter, the surface plasmon resonance of Au nanoshells and nanorods can be readily tuned from the visible into the infrared by changing the shape of the particle. Here we compare nanoshells and nanorods in terms of their ease of synthesis, their optical properties, and their longer term technological prospects as tunable plasmonic absorbers. While both particle types are now routinely prepared by wet chemistry, we submit that it is more convenient to prepare rods. Furthermore, the plasmon resonance and peak absorption efficiency in nanorods may be readily tuned into the infrared by an increase of their aspect ratio, whereas in nanoshells such tuning may require a decrease in shell thickness to problematic dimensions.
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