Plasmonic Particle - Now Tailored to Your Needs

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Sun, Yugang
Tang, Zhiyong
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Free electrons in nanosized metal particles can oscillate collectively to generate resonant plasmons on particle surfaces upon illumination of light with energy matching the electron resonance frequency. The resonant plasmons confined in nanoparticles are usually called localized surface plasmon resonances (LSPRs), which are sensitive towards a number of parameters including composition, size, shape, structure, environment, and so forth. The significant advance in colloidal synthesis enables the successful synthesis and investigation of plasmonic nanoparticles with tailorable LSPRs. Due to the LSPRs, metal nanoparticles made of coinage metals such as gold (Au) and silver (Ag) exhibit strong absorption, scattering, and emission, which are tunable by controlling the physical parameters of the nanoparticles. Such distinctive interactions between plasmonic nanoparticles and light endow the nanoparticles with applications ranging from sensing to energy to medicine. For example, plasmonic nanoparticles can drastically concentrate the electric field under resonant excitation, which can be applied in enhanced near-infrared (NIR) absorption spectroscopy, enhanced photoemission spectroscopy and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. Nonradiative Landau damping of LSPRs in plasmonic nanoparticles creates charge carriers with a significant fraction of the plasmon energy being much higher than thermal energy at ambient temperature, i.e., hot electrons above Fermi energy and hot holes below the Fermi energy of the metal. These energetic hot carriers possess very high chemical potentials to drive chemical transformations on (or near) the surfaces of the plasmonic nanoparticles. If the LSPR frequencies are in the NIR spectral region, the light absorbed by the plasmonic nanoparticles can be efficiently converted to heat, thus benefiting the photothermal treatment of cancers and controlled drug delivery. Figure 1 summarizes the major topics in current plasmonic particle research.

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Particle & Particle Systems Characterization
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Sun, Y; Tang, Z, Plasmonic Particle - Now Tailored to Your Needs, Particle & Particle Systems Characterization, 2017, 34 (8)