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Quantitative optical microspectroscopy, electron microscopy, and modelling of individual silver nanocubes reveals surface compositional changes at the nanoscale

Wang, Yisu, Zilli, Attilio, Sztranyovszky, Zoltan, Langbein, Wolfgang and Borri, Paola 2020. Quantitative optical microspectroscopy, electron microscopy, and modelling of individual silver nanocubes reveals surface compositional changes at the nanoscale. Nanoscale Advances 2 (6) , pp. 2485-2496. 10.1039/D0NA00059K

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Abstract

The optical response of metal nanoparticles is governed by plasmonic resonances, which depend often intricately on the geometry and composition of the particle and its environment. In this work we describe a method and analysis pipeline unravelling these relations at the single nanoparticle level through a quantitative characterization of the optical and structural properties. It is based on correlating electron microscopy with micro-spectroscopy measurements of the same particle immersed in media of different refractive index. The optical measurements quantify the magnitude of both the scattering and the absorption cross sections, while the geometry measured in electron microscopy is used for numerical simulations of the cross section spectra accounting for the experimental conditions. We showcase the method on silver nanocubes of nominal 75nm edge size. The large amount of information afforded by the quantitative cross section spectra, and measuring the same particle in two environments, allows us to identify a specific degradation of the cube surface. We find a layer of tarnish, only a few nanometers thick, a fine surface compositional change of the studied system which would be hardly quantifiable otherwise.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Biosciences
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
ISSN: 2516-0230
Funders: EPSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 22 April 2020
Date of Acceptance: 20 April 2020
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2020 15:37
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/131168

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