Colloidal quantum dots, viruses, DNA and all other nanoparticles have acoustic vibrations that can act as ‘fingerprints’ to identify their shape, size and mechanical properties, yet high-resolution Raman spectroscopy in this low-energy range has been lacking. Here, we demonstrate extraordinary acoustic Raman (EAR) spectroscopy to measure the Raman-active vibrations of single isolated nanoparticles in the 0.1–10 cm−1 range with ∼0.05 cm−1 resolution, to resolve peak splitting from material anisotropy and to probe the low-frequency modes of biomolecules. EAR employs a nanoaperture laser tweezer that can select particles of interest and manipulate them once identified. We therefore believe that this nanotechnology will enable expanded capabilities for the study of nanoparticles in the materials and life sciences.
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The authors acknowledge financial support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Discovery Grant programme and the National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowship programme.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Wheaton, S., Gelfand, R. & Gordon, R. Probing the Raman-active acoustic vibrations of nanoparticles with extraordinary spectral resolution. Nature Photon 9, 68–72 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2014.283
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