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Opt Express. 2008 Nov 24;16(24):19579-91.

Optical properties of gold-silica-gold multilayer nanoshells.

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  • 1Department of Bioengineering, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005, USA.


The spectral and angular radiation properties of gold-silica-gold multilayer nanoshells are investigated using Mie theory for concentric multilayer spheres. The spectral tunability of multilayer nanoshells is explained and characterized by a plasmon hybridization model and a universal scaling principle. A thinner intermediate silica layer, scaled by particle size, red shifts the plasmon resonance. This shift is relatively insensitive to the overall particle size and follows the universal scaling principle with respect to the resonant wavelength of a conventional silica-gold core-shell nanoshell. The extra tunability provided by the inner core further shifts the extinction peak to longer wavelengths, which is difficult to achieve on conventional sub-100 nm nanoshells due to limitations in synthesizing ultrathin gold coatings. We found multilayer nanoshells to be more absorbing with a larger gold core, a thinner silica layer, and a thinner outer gold shell. Both scattering intensity and angular radiation pattern were found to differ from conventional nanoshells due to spectral modulation from the inner core. Multilayer nanoshells may provide more backscattering at wavelengths where silica-gold core-shell nanoshells predominantly forward scatter.

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