Photoinduced heating of nanoparticle arrays

ACS Nano. 2013 Aug 27;7(8):6478-88. doi: 10.1021/nn401924n. Epub 2013 Aug 8.


The temperature distribution throughout arrays of illuminated metal nanoparticles is investigated numerically and experimentally. The two cases of continuous and femtosecond-pulsed illumination are addressed. In the case of continuous illumination, two distinct regimes are evidenced: a temperature confinement regime, where the temperature increase remains confined at the vicinity of each nanosource of heat, and a temperature delocalization regime, where the temperature is uniform throughout the whole nanoparticle assembly despite the heat sources' nanometric size. We show that the occurrence of one regime or another simply depends on the geometry of the nanoparticle distribution. In particular, we derived (i) simple expressions of dimensionless parameters aimed at predicting the degree of temperature confinement and (ii) analytical expressions aimed at estimating the actual temperature increase at the center of an assembly of nanoparticles under illumination, preventing heavy numerical simulations. All these theoretical results are supported by experimental measurements of the temperature distribution on regular arrays of gold nanoparticles under illumination. In the case of femtosecond-pulsed illumination, we explain the two conditions that must be fulfilled to observe a further enhanced temperature spatial confinement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biosensing Techniques
  • Gold / chemistry
  • Heating*
  • Interferometry / methods
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Micelles
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Nanotechnology / methods*
  • Normal Distribution
  • Photochemistry / methods*
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Temperature


  • Micelles
  • Polymers
  • Gold