Reversible Shape and Plasmon Tuning in Hollow AgAu Nanorods
The internal structure of hollow AgAu nanorods created by partial galvanic replacement was manipulated reversibly, and its effect on optical properties was mapped with nanometer resolution. Using the electron beam in a scanning transmission electron microscope to create solvated electrons and reactive radicals in an encapsulated solution-filled cavity in the nanorods, Ag ions were reduced nearby the electron beam, reshaping the core of the nanoparticles without affecting the external shape. The changes in plasmon-induced near-field properties were then mapped with electron energy-loss spectroscopy without disturbing the internal structure, and the results are supported by finite-difference time-domain calculations. This reversible shape and near-field control in a hollow nanoparticle actuated by an external stimulus introduces possibilities for applications in reprogrammable sensors, responsive materials, and optical memory units. Moreover, the liquid-filled nanorod cavity offers new opportunities for in situ microscopy of chemical reactions.