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Title: Fabrication and quantitative correlative light-electron microscopy of novel plasmonic nanoparticles
Author: Wang, Yisu
ISNI:       0000 0004 7652 4281
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2018
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Metallic nanoparticles (MNPs) are attracting increasing interest for many applications in photonics, ranging from optoelectronic devices to bioimaging and biosensing. An advantage of these systems is that their optical properties, governed by their localised surface plasmon resonance, are widely tunable via the nanoparticle shape and size, which can be controlled via e.g. colloid synthesis. In that context, it is important to develop accurate experimental methods able to correlate the size and shape of an individual single MNP, measured with nanometric precision, with its individual optical properties. In this thesis, three different MNP systems, namely i) commercially-available Ag nanocubes of 75 nm edge; ii) Ag tetrahedra, bi-tetrahedra and decahedra in the 25 - 50 nm size range which was fabricated in-house using a plasmon-mediated photochemistry method; iii) Ag nanodimers was fabricated in-house via controlled self-assembly of polymer linkers onto commercial nominally spherical Ag nanoparticles of 40 nm diameter. Beyond fabrication, a substantial part of the work reported in this thesis describes the experimental protocol for correlative optical and transmission electron microscopy, which was developed and optimised, comprising reproducible deposition of these silver nanoparticles onto TEM grids, their optical characterisation via polarisation-resolved high-resolution dark-field and extinction micro-spectroscopy, and subsequent high-resolution TEM of the same particle. As proof-of-concept, the same Ag nanocubes of 75 nm edge were characterised optically in different dielectric environments, using solvents of different refractive index n; specifically, anisole (n=1.52), water (n=1.33), and air (n=1). The MNP scattering and extinction cross-section was determined in absolute units using an in-house developed quantitative measurement protocol, and the results are compared with numerical simulations using the measured geometry. These studies pave the way toward an in depth understanding of the relationship between geometrical and optical properties of MNPs of non-trivial shapes, which in turn have the potential to be exploited in innovative bioimaging and biosensing platforms.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QC Physics ; QD Chemistry ; TP Chemical technology