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Experimental measurement of local high temperature at the surface of gold nanorods using doped ZnGa2O4 as a nanothermometer

Abstract : Heat measurement induced by photoexcitation of a plasmonic metal nanoparticle assembly under environmental conditions is of primary importance for the further development of applications in the fields of (photo)catalysis, nanoelectronics and nanomedicine. Nevertheless, the fine control of the rise in temperature remains difficult and limits the use of this technology due to the lack of local temperature measurement tools working under environmental conditions. Luminescence nanothermometers are an alternative solution to the limitations of conventional contact thermometers since they are able to give an absolute temperature value with high spatial resolution using common optical equipment. As a proof of concept of this nanothermometry approach, a high local temperature exceeding one hundred degrees is measured on the thermalized photoexcited aggregate of gold nanorods using ZnGa2O4:Cr3+,Bi3+ nanothermometers that have a strong temperature dependence on the luminescence lifetime of chromium(III) and high sensitivity over an extensive range of temperatures. A study on the influence of the average distance between nanosensors and nanoheaters on the measured temperature is carried out by coating the nanosensors with a silica layer of tunable thickness, highlighting the temperature gradient at the vicinity of the nanoheater as the theory predicts. The variation of the optical nanosensor response is relevant and promising, and it could be further envisioned as a potential candidate for local temperature measurement at the nanoscale since no plasmonic effect on Cr3+ lifetime is observed. The results reported here open up an even wider field of application for high temperature nanothermometry on real samples such as aggregate particles for many applications including catalysis and nanoelectronics. Thermometry using luminescent nanoprobes, which is complementary to thermal microscopy techniques, will allow in situ and in operando temperature monitoring at very small scales.
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Submitted on : Monday, May 10, 2021 - 12:15:27 PM
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Estelle Glais, Agnès Maître, Bruno Viana, Corinne Chanéac. Experimental measurement of local high temperature at the surface of gold nanorods using doped ZnGa2O4 as a nanothermometer. Nanoscale Advances, RSC, 2021, ⟨10.1039/d1na00010a⟩. ⟨hal-03222535⟩

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