We present a detailed description of the apparatus and techniques that we have utilized in our experimental study of individual plas on resonant nanoparticles,along with a brief description of some major results. The apparatus consists of a spectroscopic system combined with a modified darkfield microscope, which enables the user to sequentially select individual resonant nanostructures in the microscopic field of view for spectroscopic study. Plasmon resonant
nanostructures scatter light elastically,and typically have very large scattering cross-sections at their resonant optical
wavelengths. In general, spectra can be obtained with acquisition times between .1 to 30 seconds,and color images can be captured using consumer digital color cameras. Spheres,tetrahedrons,and pentagonal platelets were fabricated using colloidal chemistry techniques. To produce highly anisotropic structures such as nanorods and "barbells", templates were used. Many of these nanostructures have been individually spectroscopically characterized,and their spectra correlated with their shape and size as determined by transmission electron icroscope (TEM). The unique shape,size,
composition,and dielectric surroundings of the individual plasmon resonant nanostructures determine their plasmon resonant behavior. We will show how the composition of the substrate on which the particles are immobilized and the dielectric of the surrounding medium have a significant effect on the plasmon resonance of the individual particles.