Spectroscopic and Hydrodynamic Characterisation of DNA-Linked Gold Nanoparticle Dimers in Solution using Two-Photon Photoluminescence.
Midelet J., El-Sagheer AH., Brown T., Kanaras AG., Débarre A., Werts MHV.
Two-photon photoluminescence (TPPL) emission spectra of DNA-gold nanoparticle (AuNP) monoconjugates and the corresponding DNA-linked AuNP dimers are obtained by photon time-of-flight spectroscopy. This technique is combined with two-photon photoluminescence fluctuation correlation spectroscopy (TPPL-FCS) to simultaneously monitor the optical and hydrodynamic behaviour of these nano-assemblies in solution, with single-particle sensitivity and microsecond temporal resolution. In this study, the AuNPs have an average core diameter of 12 nm, which renders their dark-field plasmonic light scattering too weak for single-particle imaging. Moreover, as a result of the lack of plasmonic coupling in the dimers, the optical extinction, scattering and photoluminescence spectra of the DNA-AuNP complexes are not sufficiently different to distinguish between monomers and dimers. The use of TPPL-FCS successfully addresses these bottlenecks and enables the distinction between AuNP monomers and AuNP dimers in solution by measurement of their hydrodynamic rotational and translational diffusion.