Photoactivated Fluorescence from Individual Silver Nanoclusters

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Science  05 Jan 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5501, pp. 103-106
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5501.103

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Fluorescence microscopy of nanoscale silver oxide (Ag2O) reveals strong photoactivated emission for excitation wavelengths shorter than 520 nanometers. Although blinking and characteristic emission patterns demonstrate single-nanoparticle observation, large-scale dynamic color changes were also observed, even from the same nanoparticle. Identical behavior was observed in oxidized thin silver films that enable Ag2O particles to grow at high density from silver islands. Data were readily written to these films with blue excitation; stored data could be nondestructively read with the strong red fluorescence resulting from green (wavelengths longer than 520 nanometers) excitation. The individual luminescent species are thought to be silver nanoclusters that are photochemically generated from the oxide.

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