In Situ Identification of Nanoparticle Structural Information Using Optical Microscopy

Kayla S.B. Culver, Tingting Liu, Alexander J. Hryn, Ning Fang, Teri W. Odom*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Diffraction-limited optical microscopy lacks the resolution to directly characterize nanoscale features of single nanoparticles. This paper describes how structural features of gold nanostars can be identified using differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy. First, we established structure-property relationships between categories of nanoparticle shapes and DIC optical images and then validated the correlation with electrodynamic simulations and electron microscopy. We found that DIC image patterns of single nanostars could be differentiated between 2D and 3D geometries. DIC images were also used to distinguish asymmetric and 4-fold symmetric structures and track nanoparticle orientation. Finally, we demonstrated how this wide-field optical technique can be used for in situ characterization of single nanoparticles rotating at a glass-water interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2886-2892
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 7 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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