Resonant Rayleigh light scattering of single Au nanoparticles with different sizes and shapes
Scientific interest in nanotechnology is driven by the unique and novel properties of nanometer-sized metallic materials such as the strong interaction between the conductive electrons of the nanoparticles and the incident light, caused by localized surface plasmon resonances (LSPRs). In this article, we analysed the relationship of the Rayleigh scattering properties of a single Au nanoparticle with its size, shape, and local dielectric environment. We also provided a detailed study on the refractive index sensitivity of three types of differently shaped Au nanoparticles, which were nanospheres, oval-shaped nanoparticles and nanorods. This study helps one to differentiate the Rayleigh light scattering from individual nanoparticles of different sizes and/or shapes and precisely obtain quantitative data as well as the correlated optical spectra of single gold nanoparticles from the inherently inhomogeneous solution of nanoparticles. These results suggest that the shape, size and aspect ratio of Au nanoparticles are important structural factors in determining the resonant Rayleigh light scattering properties of a single Au nanoparticle such as its spectral peak position, scattering-cross-section and refractive index sensitivity, which gives a handle for the choice of gold nanoparticles for the design and fabrication of single nanosensors.