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Effect of Ions and Ionic Strength on Surface Plasmon Absorption of Single Gold Nanowires

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journal contribution
posted on 24.05.2016, 00:00 by Susil Baral, Andrew J. Green, Hugh H. Richardson
The local temperature change from a single optically excited gold nanowire, lithographically prepared on Al0.94Ga0.06N embedded with Er3+ ions, is measured in air, pure water, and various concentrations of aqueous solutions of ionic solutes of NaCl, Na2SO4, and MgSO4. The absorption cross section of the nanowire under pure water (2.25 × 10–14 m2) and different solution ionic strength is measured from the slopes of temperature change versus laser intensity plots. Addition of charges into the solution decreases the amount of heat generated during optical excitation of the gold nanostructures because the absorption cross section of the gold nanowire is attenuated. A Langmuir-type behavior of the absorption cross section with ionic strength is observed that is identified with an increase in the occupancy of screened interfacial charges. The absorption cross section of the nanowire decreases with ionic strength until a saturation value of 9 × 10–15 m2, where saturation in the occupancy of screened interfacial charge occurs. Dynamic measurements of temperature for a single gold nanowire immersed in a microchannel flow cell show a sharp and fast temperature drop for the flow of ionic solution compared to the pure (deionized) water, suggesting that the technique can be developed as a sensor probe to detect the presence of ions in solution.