Sub-diffraction-limit localization imaging of a plasmonic nanoparticle pair with wavelength-resolved dark-field microscopy†
In this work, with wavelength-resolved dark-field microscopy, the center-of-mass localization information from nanoparticle pairs (i.e., spherical (45 nm in diameter) and rod (45 × 70 nm) shaped gold nanoparticle pairs with different gap distances and orientations) was explored and compared with the results determined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) measurements. When the gap distance was less than 20 nm, the scattering spectrum of the nanoparticle pair was seriously modulated by the plasmonic coupling effect. The measured coordinate information determined by the optical method (Gaussian fitting) was not consistent with the true results determined by SEM measurement. A good correlation between the optical and SEM measurements was achieved when the gap distance was further increased (e.g., 20, 40 and 60 nm). Under these conditions, well-defined scattering peaks assigned to the corresponding individual nanoparticles could be distinguished from the obtained scattering spectrum. These results would afford valuable information for the studies on single plasmonic nanoparticle imaging applications with the optical microscopy method such as super-localization imaging, high precision single particle tracking in a crowding environment and so on.