Optical absorption and scattering spectroscopies of single nano-objects
Developments of optical detection and spectroscopy methods for single nano-objects are key advances for applications and fundamental understanding of the novel properties exhibited by nanosize systems. These methods are reviewed, focusing on far-field optical approaches based on light absorption and elastic scattering. The principles of the main linear and nonlinear methods are described and experimental results are illustrated in the case of metal nanoparticles, stressing the key role played by the object environment, such as the presence of a substrate, bound surface molecules or other nano-objects. Special attention is devoted to quantitative methods and correlation of the measured optical spectra of a nano-object with its morphology, characterized either optically or by electron microscopy, as this permits precise comparison with theoretical models. Application of these methods to optical detection and spectroscopy for single semiconductor nanowires and carbon nanotubes is also presented. Extension to ultrafast nonlinear extinction or scattering spectroscopies of single nano-objects is finally discussed in the context of investigation of their nonlinear optical response and their electronic, acoustic and thermal properties.