Gold nanorods as novel nonbleaching plasmon-based orientation sensors for polarized single-particle microscopy

Nano Lett. 2005 Feb;5(2):301-4. doi: 10.1021/nl048089k.


By monitoring the polarized light scattering from individual gold nanorods in a darkfield microscope, we are able to determine their orientation as a function of time. We demonstrate time resolution of milliseconds and observation times of hours by observing the two-dimensional rotational diffusion of gold rods attached to a glass surface. The observed orientational diffusion shows a fast component of about 60 ms and "sticky times" of seconds. The large signal-to-noise ratio, chemical and photochemical stability, fast time response, and small size of these gold nanorods make them an ideal probe for orientation sensing in material science and molecular biology.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Gold / analysis
  • Gold / chemistry*
  • Microscopy, Polarization / methods*
  • Molecular Probe Techniques*
  • Nanotechnology / methods*
  • Nanotubes / chemistry*
  • Nanotubes / ultrastructure*
  • Particle Size
  • Surface Plasmon Resonance / methods*


  • Gold