Highly efficient multiphoton-absorption-induced luminescence from gold nanoparticles

Nano Lett. 2005 Jun;5(6):1139-42. doi: 10.1021/nl050687r.


We demonstrate that highly efficient photoluminescence is generated from gold nanoparticles as small as a few nanometers in diameter upon irradiation with sub-100-fs pulses of 790-nm light. Strong emission is observed at excitation intensities comparable to or less than those typically used for multiphoton imaging of fluorescently labeled biological samples. The particles have polarized emission, can radiate more efficiently than single molecules, do not exhibit significant blinking, and are photostable under hours of continuous excitation. These observations suggest that metal nanoparticles are a viable alternative to fluorophores or semiconductor nanoparticles for biological labeling and imaging.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Gold / chemistry*
  • Infrared Rays
  • Luminescence
  • Luminescent Measurements
  • Nanostructures / chemistry*
  • Nanotechnology / methods*
  • Photons
  • Silicon / chemistry
  • Spectrophotometry, Infrared / methods*


  • Gold
  • Silicon