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Direct Imaging of Single Plasmonic Metal Nanoparticles in Capillary with Laser Light-Sheet Scattering Imaging

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posted on 13.02.2017, 00:00 by Xuan Cao, Jingjing Feng, Qi Pan, Bin Xiong, Yan He, Edward S. Yeung
Understanding the heterogeneous distribution of the physical and chemical properties of plasmonic metal nanoparticles is fundamentally important to their basic and applied research. Traditionally, they are obtained either indirectly via bulk spectroscopic measurements plus electron microscopic characterizations or through single molecule/particle imaging of nanoparticles immobilized on planar substrates. In this study, by using light-sheet scattering microscopy with a supercontinuum white laser, highly sensitive imaging of individual metal nanoparticles (MNPs) flowing inside a capillary, driven by either pressure or electric field, was achieved for the first time. We demonstrate that single plasmonic nanoparticles with different size or chemical modification could be differentiated through their electrophoretic mobility in a few minutes. This technique could potentially be applied to high throughput characterization and evaluation of single metal nanoparticles as well as their dynamic interactions with various local environments.