Spectra of resonance light scattering of gold nanoshells: Effects of polydispersity and limited electron free path
The effects of the polydispersity of the structure of gold nanoshells and of the limited electron free path in a thin metal layer on the spectra of resonance light scattering of a suspension of two-layer nanoparticles are studied theoretically and experimentally for the first time. It is shown theoretically that both factors lead to a broadening of the plasmon resonance in light scattering and to a change in its magnitude. To experimentally test the calculations, two samples of nanoshells based on gold and silicon dioxide (silica) were synthesized. Nanoshells of sample 1 have a diameter of the core of 90 nm and a broad thickness distribution of shells (with an average value of 30 nm), whereas nanoshells of sample 2 have a diameter of the core of 70 nm and a narrow thickness distribution of shells (with an average value of 12 nm). The core diameter, the shell thickness, and the polydispersity of the structure of nanoparticles are estimated by dynamic light scattering. It is shown that the simulation of the optical properties of nanoparticles with their parameters estimated from the dynamic light scattering data makes it possible to obtain good agreement between experimental and theoretical spectra of light scattering. For nanoshells of sample 1, the inhomogeneous broadening of the scattering spectrum is completely determined by the polydispersity; therefore, the bulk constants of gold can be used in simulation of the spectra of such nanoshells. The main mechanism of the broadening for nanoshells of sample 2 is connected with the limitation of the free path length of electrons, whereas the contribution from the thickness distribution of shells can be neglected.
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