Measuring the optical absorption cross sections of Au-Ag nanocages and au nanorods by photoacoustic imaging

Eun Chul Cho, Chulhong Kim, Fei Zhou, Claire M. Cobley, Kwang Hyun Song, Jingyi Chen, Zhi Yuhan Li, Lihong V. Wang, Younan Xia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


This paper presents a method for measuring the optical absorption cross sections (σ a)of Au-Ag nanocages and Au nanorods. The method is based on photoacoustic (PA) imaging, where the detected signal is directly proportional to the absorption coefficient (μ a) of the nanostructure. For each type of nanostructure, we first obtained μ a from the PA signal by benchmarking against a linear calibration curve (PA signal versus μ a) derived from a set of methylene blue solutions with different concentrations. We then calculated σ a by dividing the μ a by the corresponding concentration of the Au nanostructure. Additionally, we obtained the extinction cross section (σ e, sum of absorption and scattering) from the extinction spectrum recorded using a conventional UV-vis-NIR spectrometer. From the measurements of σ a and σ e, we were able to easily derive both the absorption and scattering cross sections for each type of gold nanostructure. The ratios of absorption to extinction obtained from experimental and theoretical approaches agreed well, demonstrating the potential use of this method in determining the optical absorption and scattering properties of gold nanostructures and other types of nanomaterials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9023-9028
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 28 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Energy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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