By using electron beam lithography, we fabricated pairs of gold nanoparticles with varying interparticle separation. Double-beam femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy was used to determine the coherent lattice oscillation frequency as a function of the interparticle separation in the presence of the plasmon field excited by the monitoring probe light. We found that the fractional shift in the coherent lattice phonon oscillation frequency follows an exponential decay with respect to the interparticle gap scaled by the disc diameter with the same decay constant as that previously observed for the fractional shift in the surface plasmon electronic oscillation resonance frequency. This strongly suggests that it is the near-field coupling between the particles that shifts both the coherent electronic oscillation (plasmon) frequency and the coherent lattice oscillation (phonon) frequency. The similar trend in the effect of interparticle coupling on the plasmon frequency and the phonon frequency is essentially a reflection of the universal scaling behavior of the distance decay of the interparticle plasmonic near-field. It is shown that the observed decrease in the lattice oscillation frequency with decrease in the interparticle distance is the result of a reduction in the effective free electron density within each nanoparticle pair partner as a result of the polarizing perturbation of the plasmonic field of the other nanoparticle in the pair.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/wenyu_huang/25/