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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)