, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 319-358

Optical Effects Associated with Aggregates of Clusters

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The effect of aggregation on the optical properties of nanometer-sized particles is studied. It is shown that for small noble metal clusters as well as for pigments of Fe2O3, TiN, or ZrN, the aggregation leads to changes in the color of the colloidal systems which are caused by electromagnetic coupling among the clusters in the aggregates. The model of interacting particles is shown to be helpful also for interpretation of optical properties of organic dyes with incorporated metal clusters and for interpretation of the reflectance of magnetooptical cluster systems. For soot particles it is shown that scattering and absorption are enhanced over the whole visible spectral region compared to isolated carbonaceous clusters. Finally, it is shown that the model of interacting clusters can also be applied for data interpretation in scanning near-field optical microscopy.