Fabrication of photoactive heterostructures based on quantum dots decorated with Au nanoparticles
Gold (Au) nanoshells were grown on silica nanoparticles with differing average diameters, ranging from 30 to 120 nm. Au nanoshells were also formed on silica spheres encapsulating 5 nm diameter magnetic iron oxide nanocrystals. The optical absorbance spectra of these Au nanoshells are reported. The plasmon resonance wavelengths of the smaller diameter nanoshells were significantly less tunable than those of the larger diameter nanoshells. This is due to a reduced range of accessible core-shell ratio, the geometric factor that determines the plasmon peak position, as the silica core diameter shrinks. The smaller diameter nanoshells were also found to be highly prone to aggregation, which broadens the plasmon absorption peak. Model calculations of dispersion stability as a function of silica core diameter reveal that smaller diameter Au shells exhibit more aggregation because of the size-dependence of the electrostatic double-layer potential.