Plasmonic nanoparticles (PNPs) continue to see increasing use in biophotonics for a variety of applications, including cancer detection and treatment. Several PNP-based approaches involve the generation of highly transient nanobubbles due to pulsed laser-induced vaporization and cavitation. While much effort has been devoted to elucidating the mechanisms behind bubble generation with spherical gold nano particles, the effects of particle shape on bubble generation thresholds are not well understood, especially in the nanosecond pulse regime. Our study aims to compare the bubble generation thresholds of gold nanospheres, gold nanorods, and silica-core gold nanoshells with different sizes, resonances, and surface coatings. Bubble generation is detected using a multimodality microscopy platform for simultaneous, nanosecond resolution pump-probe imaging, integrated scattering response, and acoustic transient detection. Nanoshells and large (40-nm width) nanorods were found to have the lowest thresholds for bubble generation, and in some cases they generated bubbles at radiant exposures below standard laser safety limits for skin exposure. This has important implications for both safety and performance of techniques employing pulsed lasers and PNPs.
Fales, A. M., Vogt, W. C., Wear, K. A., Pfefer, T. J., & Ilev, I. K. (2019). Experimental investigation of parameters influencing plasmonic nanoparticle-mediated bubble generation with nanosecond laser pulses. Journal of Biomedical Optics, 24(06), 1. https://doi.org/10.1117/1.jbo.24.6.065003