Nanoscale near-field infrared spectroscopic imaging of silica-shell/gold-core and pure silica nanoparticles

Z. Nuno, B. Hessler, B. Heiberg, R. Damato, T. Dunlap, Y.-S. Shon, Y. Abate

Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 14, p.766 (2012)
Spectroscopic near-field imaging of single silica-shell/Au-core and pure silica nanoparticles deposited on a silicon substrate is performed in the infrared wavelength range (λ = 9–11 μm) using scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscopy (s-SNOM). By tuning the wavelength of the incident light, we have acquired information on the spectral phonon–polariton resonant near-field interactions of the silica-shell/Au-core and pure silica nanoparticles with the probing tip. We made use of the enhanced near-field coupling between the high index Au-core and the probing tip to achieve spectral near-field contrast of the thin silica coating (thickness < 10 nm). Our results show that spectroscopic imaging of thin coating layers and complex core–shell nanoparticles can be directly performed by s-SNOM.