|journal||Nature Communicationsvolume 9, Article number: 891 (2018)|
To elucidate the complex interplay between the size and shape of gold nanorods and their electronic, photothermal, and optical properties for molecular imaging, photothermal therapy, and optoelectronic devices, it is a prerequisite to characterize ultrafast electron dynamics in gold nanorods. Time-resolved transient absorption (TA) studies of plasmonic electrons in various nanostructures have revealed the time scales for electron heating, lattice vibrational excitation, and phonon relaxation processes in condensed phases. However, because linear spectroscopic and time-resolved TA signals are vulnerable to inhomogeneous line-broadening, pure dephasing and direct electron heating effects are difficult to observe. Here we show that femtosecond two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy, with its unprecedented time resolution and phase sensitivity, can be used to collect direct experimental evidence for ultrafast electron heating, anomalously strong coherent and transient electronic plasmonic responses, and homogenous dephasing processes resulting from electron-vibration couplings even for polydisperse gold nanorods.
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