Gold nanoparticle assemblies: Thermal behaviour under optical excitation
The optical response of materials based on gold nanoparticle assemblies depends on many parameters connected to both material morphology and light excitation characteristics. The optical energy absorbed is then converted into heat through different nanoscale energy exchange mechanisms. This heating subsequently modifies itself the optical properties. We investigate the interplay between the optical and thermal responses of nanocomposite media under its theoretical aspect. In this first paper, the thermal response of gold nanoparticle assemblies under pulsed optical excitation is considered. Both conventional and original modelling approaches are presented. We first underline the role of electromagnetic interactions between particles in a dense assembly in its linear optical response. We then show how the interaction of light with matrix-embedded gold nanoparticles can result in the generation of thermal excitations through different energy exchange mechanisms. Finally, we demonstrate the possible significant influence of the heat carrier ballistic regime and phonon rarefaction in the cooling dynamics of an embedded gold nanoparticle subsequent to ultrafast pulsed laser excitation.