, Volume 68, Issue 6, pp 661-678

Gold nanorods: Synthesis and optical properties

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The main results of studying the synthesis, growth mechanisms, and optical properties of gold nanorods published in the last 5–8 years are briefly reviewed. Hydrosols of gold nanorods with variable axial ratios are synthesized in the micellar solution of ionic surfactants by sead-mediated growth procedure using the stage of particle separation in the glycerol concentration gradient. Results of synthesis in systems containing one surfactant, albeit with different Ag/Au molar ratios and different amounts of gold seeding particles, agree with the published data. It is shown that, in the case of the mixture of two surfactants, the Ag/Au ratio is an efficient controlling parameter of the synthesis of nanorods with large axial ratios. The extinction and differential light scattering, spectra dynamic light scattering, and the depolarization of laser light scattering at 90° are used for the optical control of synthesis. Three fractions are observed in separated samples. One of these fractions is characterized by the only short wavelength plasmon resonance at 570 nm corresponding, in agreement with the published data, to cubic particles. Measurements of the extinction spectra of nanorods in water-glycerol mixtures reveal higher sensitivity of the longitudinal plasmon resonance to the dielectric environment relative to the transverse resonance. It is shown theoretically and experimentally that the relative shift of plasmon resonance is proportional to the relative increment of refractive index of the surrounding medium. To calculate optical properties of nanorods, we employed a model of cylinders with semispherical ends (s-cylinders) corresponding to the shape of real particles and admitting the exact solution by the T-matrix method with a computational burden that is an order of magnitude lower than that used in the discrete dipole method. The set of dependences of the longitudinal resonance wavelength on the axial ratio of different-thickness particles complies with our data and published measurements. Theoretical and experimental values of depolarization ratio I VH/I VV for nanorods and nanospheres with different sizes prepared with both citrate (15–46 nm) and original thiocyanate (90 nm) reduction of HAuCl4 are compared. It is shown that the depolarization parameter of light scattered by a nanorod suspension can exceed the theoretical limit (1/3) for common dielectric particles. The measured 10%-depolarization ratio for 90-nm spheres was far beyond the set of “size-depolarization” measurements for 15–46-nm-dia particles prepared by the citrate method and is indicative of the improved spherical morphology of 90-nm particles. This assumption was confirmed by TEM data, which also revealed both the presence of a noticeable amount of nanorods with a large axial ratio and “nanowires” of about the same thickness. A new analytic calibration for determining the diameter of spherical particles (5–100 nm) by the spectral position of the sol extinction maximum is proposed.

Original Russian Text © A.V. Alekseeva, V.A. Bogatyrev, B.N. Khlebtsov, A.G. Mel’nikov, L.A. Dykman, N.G. Khlebtsov, 2006, published in Kolloidnyi Zhurnal, 2006, Vol. 68, No. 6, pp. 725–744.