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Keywords:

  • Plasmonics;
  • nano-optics;
  • thermodynamics;
  • biophysics

Abstract

Recent years have seen a growing interest in using metal nanostructures to control temperature on the nanoscale. Under illumination at its plasmonic resonance, a metal nanoparticle features enhanced light absorption, turning it into an ideal nano-source of heat, remotely controllable using light. Such a powerful and flexible photothermal scheme is the basis of thermo-plasmonics. Here, the recent progress of this emerging and fast-growing field is reviewed. First, the physics of heat generation in metal nanoparticles is described, under both continuous and pulsed illumination. The second part is dedicated to numerical and experimental methods that have been developed to further understand and engineer plasmonic-assisted heating processes on the nanoscale. Finally, some of the most recent applications based on the heat generated by gold nanoparticles are surveyed, namely photothermal cancer therapy, nano-surgery, drug delivery, photothermal imaging, protein tracking, photoacoustic imaging, nano-chemistry and optofluidics.