Open Access

Gold nanoparticle ensembles as heaters and actuators: melting and collective plasmon resonances

  • Alexander O. Govorov1Email author,
  • Wei Zhang1,
  • Timur Skeini1,
  • Hugh Richardson1,
  • Jaebeom Lee2 and
  • Nicholas A. Kotov2
Nanoscale Research Letters20061:84

DOI: 10.1007/s11671-006-9015-7

Published: 26 July 2006


We describe the peculiar conditions under which optically driven gold nanoparticles (NPs) can significantly increase temperature or even melt a surrounding matrix. The heating and melting processes occur under light illumination and involve the plasmon resonance. For the matrix, we consider water, ice, and polymer. Melting and heating the matrix becomes possible if a nanoparticle size is large enough. Significant enhancement of the heating effect can appear in ensembles of NPs due to an increase of a volume of metal and electric-field amplification.


Metal nanoparticles Heat generation Plasmons




This work was supported by the NanoBioTechnology Initiative at Ohio University.

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ohio University
Department of Chemical Engineering, Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan


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© to the authors 2006