Letter abstract

Nature Nanotechnology 4, 492 - 495 (2009)
Published online: 26 July 2009 | doi:10.1038/nnano.2009.192

Subject Categories: Nanoparticles | Structural properties

Damping of acoustic vibrations in gold nanoparticles

Matthew Pelton1, John E. Sader2, Julien Burgin3,4, Mingzhao Liu1,3,4, Philippe Guyot-Sionnest3 & David Gosztola1

Studies of acoustic vibrations in nanometre-scale particles can provide fundamental insights into the mechanical properties of materials because it is possible to precisely characterize and control the crystallinity and geometry of such nanostructures1, 2, 3, 4. Metal nanoparticles are of particular interest because they allow the use of ultrafast laser pulses to generate and probe high-frequency acoustic vibrations, which have the potential to be used in a variety of sensing applications. So far, the decay of these vibrations has been dominated by dephasing due to variations in nanoparticle size5. Such inhomogeneities can be eliminated by performing measurements on single nanoparticles deposited on a substrate6, 7, 8, 9, but unknown interactions between the nanoparticles and the substrate make it difficult to interpret the results of such experiments. Here, we show that the effects of inhomogeneous damping can be reduced by using bipyramidal gold nanoparticles with highly uniform sizes10. The inferred homogeneous damping is due to the combination of damping intrinsic to the nanoparticles and the surrounding solvent; the latter is quantitatively described by a parameter-free model.

  1. Center for Nanoscale Materials, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439, USA
  2. Department of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia
  3. James Franck Institute, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA
  4. Present address: ICMCB, CNRS and Université de Bordeaux, 87, Avenue du Docteur Albert Schweitzer, 33608 PESSAC, France (J.B.); Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02143, USA (M.L.)

Correspondence to: Matthew Pelton1 e-mail: pelton@anl.gov


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