Multispectral Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance (msLSPR) Reveals and Overcomes Spectral and Sensing Heterogeneities of Single Gold Nanoparticles

Stephen Palani, John P. Kenison, Sinan Sabuncu, Tao Huang, Fehmi Civitci, Sadik Esener, Xiaolin Nan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Metal nanoparticles can be sensitive molecular sensors due to enhanced absorption and scattering of light near a localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR). Variations in both intrinsic properties such as the geometry and extrinsic properties such as the environment can cause heterogeneity in nanoparticle LSPR and impact the overall sensing responses. To date, however, few studies have examined LSPR and sensing heterogeneities, due to technical challenges in obtaining the full LSPR spectra of individual nanoparticles in dynamic assays. Here, we report multispectral LSPR (msLSPR), a wide-field imaging technique for real-time spectral monitoring of light scattering from individual nanoparticles across the whole field of view (FOV) at ∼0.5 nm spectral and ∼100 ms temporal resolutions. Using msLSPR, we studied the spectral and sensing properties of gold nanoparticles commonly used in LSPR assays, including spheres, rods, and bipyramids. Complemented with electron microscopy imaging, msLSPR analysis revealed that all classes of gold nanoparticles exhibited variations in LSPR peak wavelengths that largely paralleled variations in morphology. Compared with the rods and spheres, gold nanobipyramids exhibited both more uniform and stronger sensing responses as long as the bipyramids are structurally intact. Simulations incorporating the experimental LSPR properties demonstrate the negative impact of spectral heterogeneity on the overall performance of conventional, intensity-based LSPR assays and the ability of msLSPR in overcoming both particle heterogeneity and measurement noise. These results highlight the importance of spectral heterogeneity in LSPR-based sensors and the potential advantage of performing LSPR assays in the spectral domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2266-2278
Number of pages13
JournalACS Nano
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 14 2023


  • dark-field microscopy
  • localized surface plasmon resonance
  • multispectral imaging
  • nanoparticles
  • single particle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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