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Low frequency modes from small nanoparticles (metal nanocrystals) to large nanospheres (viruses) : an inelastic light scattering study

Abstract : The doctoral thesis “Low frequency modes from small nanoparticles (metal nanocrystals) to large nanospheres (viruses): an inelastic light scattering study“ is dedicated to investigations of the acoustic properties of different nano-objects : small metal nanoparticles and nanocrystals (D < 30 nm) and large colloid/viral particles (D _ 200 nm). Inelastic light Raman/Brillouin scattering is used as the main research tool to probe the nanoparticle vibrations and to determine their elastic and mechanical parameters. In the first chapter, the well developed theory of elasticity is used to perform a qualitative and nomenclatural analysis of solid sphere vibrations ; several theoretical models allowing to describe the nanoparticle vibrational behavior within a surrounding medium and how the eigenvibrations are modified due to inner crystalline elastic anisotropy are discussed. The second chapter is dedicated to the description of the physics of inelastic light scattering which derives from the fluctuations of the polarizability induced by vibrations. Two types of inelastic light scattering are described : Brillouin scattering which results from the coupling of incident light (photon) with acoustic propagative waves (phonon) in a bulk substance and Raman scattering which is a result of the interaction between an incident photon and localized vibrations, hence nanoparticle vibrations in the present study. As essential in our study, the detailed description and principles of operation of the spectroscopic tools (tandem Fabry-Perot) used to perform these very low frequency inelastic light scattering spectroscopies (between 3 and 300 GHz typically) are given. The third chapter focuses on the study of low frequency modes from small metallic nanoparticles. Three systems are investigated : AuAg and Cu nanoparticles embedded in a vitreous matrix and Au nanocrystals deposited on a surface. The AuAg system allowed to study a notably rich Raman spectrum featuring contributions from fundamental modes and high order harmonics. The experimental data were found to compare rather well with theoretical predictions, thereby providing more insight into the essential ingredients of Raman scattering from nanoparticle modes. The study of deposited Au nanocrystals allowed characterizing the effect of nanocrystalline quality which results in a partial lifting of degeneracy of the nanoparticle modes due to elastic anisotropy. Investigating the wavelength dependence of the Raman spectrum allows a differentiation between single nanocrystals and multiply twinned nanoparticles. Both embedment effects and nanocrystallinity effects are integrated in the study of Cu nanoparticles grown in a glass matrix, where the influence of annealing conditions on the produced nanoparticles was investigated. It was shown that different annealing temperatures [...] result in very different low frequency Raman profiles. [...] The forth chapter reports on the exploration of the possible use of the low frequency inelastic light scattering probe in the characterization of large viruses, as illustrated in the third chapter for small nanoparticles. In order to address the change of the light selection rules as the wavelength of the exciting light becomes comparable to the size of the nanoparticles, the behaviors of the viruses are compared to those of polymer colloids. Ultra Small Angle X-ray Scattering and Atomic Force Microscopy are used to first ensure the comparableness of viruses and polystyrene colloids in terms morphologies. On the basis of the inelastic light scattering data obtained for PS colloids [...], we discuss the difficult interpretation in termsof eigenmodes of the virus counterparts.
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Sergey Sirotkin. Low frequency modes from small nanoparticles (metal nanocrystals) to large nanospheres (viruses) : an inelastic light scattering study. Other. Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I, 2010. English. ⟨NNT : 2010LYO10260⟩. ⟨tel-00847063⟩

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