J. Phys. IV France
Volume 137, November 2006
Page(s) 273 - 281
Published online 23 December 2006
35th Winter School on Wave and Quantum Acoustics
J. Bodzenta, M. Dzida and T. Pustelny
J. Phys. IV France 137 (2006) 273-281

DOI: 10.1051/jp4:2006137054

Nonlinear optothermoacoustic phenomena in highly diluted suspensions of gold nanoparticles

S.V. Egerev1 and A.A. Oraevsky2

1  Andreyev Acoustics Institute, Moscow 117036, Russia
2  Fairway Medical Technologies, 9431 W. Sam Houston Parkway South, Houston, Texas 77099, USA

(Published online 23 December 2006)

Optoacoustic (OA) sensor was designed, fabricated and used to detect spherical gold nanoparticles (NPs) in suspensions at the level of up to a single particle. The sensor operating in the backward mode was designed to measure signals from microscopic volumes of nanoparticulate suspensions in water. Thermal nonlinearity was observed in the course of OA signal generation. The irradiation of the microvolume of gold nanoparticles gives rise to a multitude of thermomechanical processes, including heating of NPs above the vaporization temperature, thermal diffusion from nanoparticles to water and formation of vapor nanobubbles. As a result, a specific acoustic signal is produced exhibiting nonlinear behaviour with respect to the incident laser pulse energy. The optoacoustic profile of the laser-induced signal generated in a thin layer of highly diluted suspensions of gold nanospheres was examined thereby providing a basis for a method for detection of metal nanoparticles with high sensitivity.

© EDP Sciences 2006