Attempts to realize the important potential of goldnanorods as extremely bright molecular markers have been limited by the broad spectroscopiclinewidths usually observed. We identify the origin of this broadening as inhomogeneous broadening due to the extreme sensitivity of the surface plasmon resonance to the nanorod aspect ratio. Using confocal light scatteringspectroscopic microscopy, we observed the narrow homogeneously broadened plasmon lines of single goldnanorods and obtained the first quantitative measurements of this homogeneous broadening. We show that homogeneous broadening can be predicted from first principals.
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