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The photothermal effect of metal nanoparticles


  • Utilizing the photothermal effect of metal nanoparticles:
    Metal nanoparticles embedded in polymer composites can act as remotely-controlled heating elements and be used to manipulate sample properties by "nanoscopic heating from within". Our recent results demonstrate that irradiation with relatively weak light resonant with the nanoparticle's surface plasmon resonance induces dramatic heating in the immediate area of the nanoparticle, while the rest of the material remains largely unaffected.

    Recent research accomplishments include:

    • Using anisotropically-shaped nanoparticles enables further experimental control via the polarization selectivity of the photothermal effect.
    • Monitoring the rate of rotational diffusion of anisotropically-shaped nanoparticles provides a measurement of the local temperature on the nanoscale.
    • Large temperature gradients can be established within photothermally-heated materials under both pulsed and continuous-wave excitation.
    • The photothermal effect can generate thermal processing outcomes which are unachievable by conventional heating methods.
    • Shape memory polymers embedded with nanoparticles are readily actuated using light.

    • G. Firestone et al., Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics 56, 643 (2018). (journal)

    • S. Maity et al., Nanoscale 9, 11605 (2017). (journal)

    • J. Dong et al., Nanotechnology 28, 065601 (2017). (journal) [paper]

    • V. Viswanath et al., Macromolecules 49, 9484 (2016). (journal) [paper]

    • S. Maity et al., Nanoscale 6, 15236 (2014). (journal) [paper]

    • D. B. Abbott et al., Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics 215, 2345 (2014). (journal) [paper]

    • V. Viswanath et al., Macromolecules 46, 8596 (2013). (journal) [paper]

    • S. Maity et al., Particle & Particle Systems Characterization 30, 193 (2013). (journal) [paper]

    • S. Maity et al., Advanced Functional Material 22, 5259 (2012). (journal) [paper]

    • S. Maity et al., Polymer 52, 1674 (2011). (journal) [paper]

    Click for some news stories about our early results:

    Above: Kristen Hale prepares to electrospin.