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ACS Nano. 2015 Jul 28;9(7):7072-9. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.5b01634. Epub 2015 Jul 17.

Photoluminescence of a Plasmonic Molecule.

Author information

1
†Department of Chemistry and ‡Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Laboratory for Nanophotonics, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77005, United States.

Abstract

Photoluminescent Au nanoparticles are appealing for biosensing and bioimaging applications because of their non-photobleaching and non-photoblinking emission. The mechanism of one-photon photoluminescence from plasmonic nanostructures is still heavily debated though. Here, we report on the one-photon photoluminescence of strongly coupled 50 nm Au nanosphere dimers, the simplest plasmonic molecule. We observe emission from coupled plasmonic modes as revealed by single-particle photoluminescence spectra in comparison to correlated dark-field scattering spectroscopy. The photoluminescence quantum yield of the dimers is found to be surprisingly similar to the constituent monomers, suggesting that the increased local electric field of the dimer plays a minor role, in contradiction to several proposed mechanisms. Aided by electromagnetic simulations of scattering and absorption spectra, we conclude that our data are instead consistent with a multistep mechanism that involves the emission due to radiative decay of surface plasmons generated from excited electron-hole pairs following interband absorption.

KEYWORDS:

gold nanoparticle; nanoparticle dimer; photoluminescence; plasmon coupling; surface plasmon

PMID:
26165983
DOI:
10.1021/acsnano.5b01634
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