Haixu Leng, Brian Szychowski, Marie-Christine Daniel, and Matthew Pelton
Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, Vol. 8, Page 3607 (2017)
Abstract: Studies of the plasmon resonances in individual and coupled metal nanoparticles often involve imaging of the nanostructures of interest in an electron microscope. We show that this process can dramatically modify the optical spectra of coupled plas- monic nanoparticles, illustrated here with the case of gold nanorod-nanosphere dimers. The spectral changes are due to the thin, partially conductive carbonaceous layer that deposits onto the particles during imaging. These changes are particularly significant for coupled nanoparticles with sub-nanometer interparticle gaps, but have largely been neglected in previous studies of such structures, including studies intended to probe quantum-mechanical effects in plasmon coupling. Accounting for the effects of the carbonaceous layer will lead to a more accurate understanding of such systems.