Plasmonic and photothermal properties of silica-capped gold nanoparticle aggregates

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Owing to their biocompatibility, gold nanoparticles have many applications in healthcare, notably for targeted drug delivery and the photothermal therapy of tumors. The addition of a silica shell to the nanoparticles can help to minimize the aggregation of the nanoparticles upon exposure to harsh environments and protect any Raman reporters adsorbed onto the metal surface. Here, we report the effects of the addition of a silica shell on the photothermal properties of a series of gold nanostructures, including gold nanoparticle aggregates. The presence of a Raman reporter at the surface of the gold nanoparticles also allows the structures to be evaluated by surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). In this work, we explore the relationship between the degree of aggregation and the position and the extinction of the near-infrared plasmon on the observed SERS intensity and in the increase in bulk temperature upon near-infrared excitation. By tailoring the concentration of the silane and the thickness of the silica shell, it is possible to improve the photothermal heating capabilities of the structures without sacrificing the SERS intensity or changing the optical properties of the gold nanoparticle aggregates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24475-24486
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number50
Early online date12 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2023


  • gold nanoparticles
  • photothermal therapy
  • SERS


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