Chemical sensing and imaging with metallic nanorods

Catherine J. Murphy, Anand M. Gole, Simona E. Hunyadi, John W. Stone, Patrick N. Sisco, Alaaldin Alkilany, Brian E. Kinard, Patrick Hankins

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

520 Scopus citations


In this Feature Article, we examine recent advances in chemical analyte detection and optical imaging applications using gold and silver nanoparticles, with a primary focus on our own work. Noble metal nanoparticles have exciting physical and chemical properties that are entirely different from the bulk. For chemical sensing and imaging, the optical properties of metallic nanoparticles provide a wide range of opportunities, all of which ultimately arise from the collective oscillations of conduction band electrons ("plasmons") in response to external electromagnetic radiation. Nanorods have multiple plasmon bands compared to nanospheres. We identify four optical sensing and imaging modalities for metallic nanoparticles: (1) aggregation-dependent shifts in plasmon frequency; (2) local refractive index-dependent shifts in plasmon frequency; (3) inelastic (surface-enhanced Raman) light scattering; and (4) elastic (Rayleigh) light scattering. The surface chemistry of the nanoparticles must be tunable to create chemical specificity, and is a key requirement for successful sensing and imaging platforms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)544-557
Number of pages14
JournalChemical Communications
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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