Gold Nanorods as a High-Pressure Sensor of Phase Transitions and Refractive-Index Gauge

The absorption peaks of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) in Au NRs are highly sensitive to their surrounding medium and to its refractive index (RI) changes. However, no applications of NRs for detecting phase transitions have been reported. Here we show that Au NRs effectively detect phase transitions of compressed compounds, liquid and solid, by measuring their RI. Owing to the direct interaction of the NRs with their surrounding medium, its subtle RI changes can be observed by the use of high-pressure absorption Vis-NIR spectroscopy.