Au-Cu2- xSe heterodimer nanoparticles with broad localized surface plasmon resonance as contrast agents for deep tissue imaging

Xin Liu, Changho Lee, Wing Cheung Law, Dewei Zhu, Maixian Liu, Mansik Jeon, Jeehyun Kim, Paras N. Prasad, Chulhong Kim, Mark T. Swihart

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

145 Citations (Scopus)


We report a new type of heterogeneous nanoparticles (NPs) composed of a heavily doped semiconductor domain (Cu2-xSe) and a metal domain (Au), which exhibit a broad localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) across visible and near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths, arising from interactions between the two nanocrystal domains. We demonstrate both in vivo photoacoustic imaging and in vitro dark field imaging, using the broad LSPR in Cu2-xSe-Au hybrid NPs to achieve contrast at different wavelengths. The high photoacoustic imaging depth achieved, up to 17 mm, shows that these novel contrast agents could be clinically relevant. More broadly, this work demonstrates a new strategy for tuning LSPR absorbance by engineering the density of free charge carriers in two interacting domains.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4333-4339
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sep 2013


  • contrast agent
  • heavily doped semiconductor
  • Localized surface plasmon resonance
  • metal nanoparticles
  • photoacoustic imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering

Cite this