FD2015-Single Molecule Microscopy: optical micro-spectroscopy of single metallic nanoparticles: quantitative extinction and transient resonant Four-Wave Mixing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Lukas Payne
  • George Zoriniants
  • Francesco Masia
  • Paul Verkade
  • Darren Rowles
  • Wolfgang W Langbein
  • Paola Borri

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Cardiff University
  • University of Bristol
  • BBI Solutions OEM Ltd, Golden Gate, Ty-Glas Avenue, Llanishen, Cardiff CF14 5DX


We report a wide-field imaging method to rapidly and quantitatively measure the optical extinction cross-section σext (also polarisation resolved) of a large number of individual gold nanoparticles, for statistically-relevant single particle analysis. We demonstrate a sensitivity of 5 nm^2 in σext enabling detection of single 5nm gold nanoparticles with total acquisition times in the 1min range. Moreover, we have developed an analytical model of the polarisation resolved σext, which enabled us to extract geometrical particle aspect ratios from the measured σext. Using this method, we have characterized a large number of nominally-spherical gold nanoparticles in the 10-100nm size range. Furthermore, the method provided measurements of in-house fabricated nanoparticle conjugates, allowing distinction of individual dimers from single particles and larger aggregates. The same particle conjugates were investigated correlatively by phase-resolved transient resonant four-wave mixing micro-spectroscopy. A direct comparison of the phase-resolved response between single gold nanoparticles and dimers highlighted the promise of the four-wave mixing technique for sensing applications with dimers as plasmon rulers.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-320
JournalFaraday Discussions
Early online date29 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015