Femtosecond Laser Pulse Driven Melting in Gold Nanorod Aqueous Colloidal Suspension: Identification of a Transition from Stretched to Exponential Kinetics
Many potential industrial, medical, and environmental applications of metal nanorods rely on the physics and resultant kinetics and dynamics of the interaction of these particles with light. We report a surprising kinetics transition in the global melting of femtosecond laser-driven gold nanorod aqueous colloidal suspension. At low laser intensity, the melting exhibits a stretched exponential kinetics, which abruptly transforms into a compressed exponential kinetics when the laser intensity is raised. It is found the relative formation and reduction rate of intermediate shapes play a key role in the transition. Supported by both molecular dynamics simulations and a kinetic model, the behavior is traced back to the persistent heterogeneous nature of the shape dependence of the energy uptake, dissipation and melting of individual nanoparticles. These results could have significant implications for various applications such as water purification and electrolytes for energy storage that involve heat transport between metal nanorod ensembles and surrounding solvents.