Three-layer core-shell plasmonic nanorods (Au/Ag/SiO2-NRs), consisting of a gold nanorod core, a thin silver shell, and a thin silica layer, were synthesized and used as optical imaging probes under a differential interference contrast microscope for single particle orientation and rotational tracking. The localized surface plasmon resonance modes were enhanced upon the addition of the silver shell, and the anisotropic optical properties of gold nanorods were maintained. The silica coating enables surface functionalization with silane coupling agents and provides enhanced stability and biocompatibility. Taking advantage of the longitudinal LSPR enhancement, the orientation and rotational information of the hybrid nanorods on synthetic lipid bilayers and on live cell membranes were obtained with millisecond temporal resolution using a scientific complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor camera. The results demonstrate that the as-synthesized hybrid nanorods are promising imaging probes with improved sensitivity and good biocompatibility for single plasmonic particle tracking experiments in biological systems.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/javier_vela-becerra/4/