Plasmon bleaching dynamics in colloidal gold-iron oxide nanocrystal heterodimers.
Comin A., Korobchevskaya K., George C., Diaspro A., Manna L.
Colloidal nanocrystal heterodimers composed of a plasmonic and a magnetic domain have been widely studied as potential materials for various applications in nanomedicine, biology, and photocatalysis. One of the most popular nanocrystal heterodimers is represented by a structure made of a Au domain and a iron oxide domain joined together. Understanding the nature of the interface between the two domains in such type of dimer and how this influences the energy relaxation processes is a key issue. Here, we present the first broad-band transient absorption study on gold/iron oxide nanocrystal heterodimers that explains how the energy relaxation is affected by the presence of such interface. We found faster electron-electron and electron-phonon relaxation times for the gold "nested" in the iron oxide domain in the heterodimers with respect to gold "only" nanocrystals, that is, free-standing gold nanocrystals in solution. We relate this effect to the decreased electron screening caused by spill-out of the gold electron distribution at gold/iron oxide interface.