Reversible modulation of surface plasmons in gold nanoparticles enabled by surface redox chemistry

Zheng Li, Jonathan J. Foley IV, Sheng Peng, Cheng‐Jun Sun, Yang Ren, Gary P Wiederrecht, Stephen K Gray, Yugang Sun

Angewandte Chemie


Switchable surface redox chemistry is demonstrated in gold@iron/iron oxide core–shell nanoparticles with ambient oxidation and plasmon-mediated reduction to modulate the oxidation state of shell layers. The iron shell can be oxidized to iron oxide through ambient oxidation, leading to an enhancement and red-shift of the gold surface plasmon resonance (SPR). This enhanced gold SPR can drive reduction of the iron oxide shell under broadband illumination to reversibly blue-shift and significantly dampen gold SPR absorption. The observed phenomena provide a unique mechanism for controlling the plasmonic properties and surface chemistry of small metal nanoparticles.