Gold nanorods can be internalized by macrophages (an important early cellular marker in atherosclerosis and cancer) and used as an imaging contrast agent for macrophage targeting. Objective of this study is to compare two-photon luminescence (TPL) properties of four aspect ratios of gold nanorods with surface plasmon resonance at 700, 756, 844 and 1060 nm respectively. TPL from single nanorods and Rhodamine 6G particles was measured using a laser-scanning TPL microscope. Nanorod TPL emission spectrum was recorded by a spectrometer. Quadratic dependence of luminescence intensity on excitation power (confirming a TPL process) was observed below a threshold (e.g., <1.6 mW), followed by photobleaching at higher power levels. Dependence of nanorod TPL intensity on excitation wavelength indicated that the two-photon action cross section (TPACS) is plasmon-enhanced. Largest TPACS of a single nanorod (12271 GM) was substantially larger than a single Rhodamine 6G particle (25 GM) at 760 nm excitation. Characteristics of nanorod TPL emission spectrum can be explained by plasmon-enhanced interband transition of gold. Comparison results of TPL brightness, TPACS and emission spectrum of nanorods can guide selection of optimal contrast agent for selected imaging applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics