In this context, plasmonic particles as gold nanorods are achieving resounding interest, owing to their efficiency of photothermal conversion, intense optical absorbance in the near infrared region, inertness in the body and convenience for conjugation with ligands of molecular targets.
On the other hand, the photoinstability of plasmonic particles remains a remarkable obstacle. In particular, gold nanorods easily reshape into nanospheres and so lose their optical absorbance in the near infrared region, under exposure to few-ns-long laser pulses. This issue is attracting much attention and stimulating ad-hoc solutions, such as the addition of rigid shells and the optimization of multiple parameters.
In this contribution, we focus on the influence of the shape of gold nanorods on their photothermal behavior and photostability. We describe the photothermal process in the gold nanorods by modeling their optical absorption and consequent temperature dynamics as a function of their aspect ratio (length / diameter).
Our results suggest that increasing the aspect ratio does probably not limit the photostability of gold nanorods, while shifting the plasmonic peak towards wavelengths around 1100 nm, which hold more technological interest.