Noble metal nanoparticles and methods of their use are provided. Certain aspects provided solid noble metal nanoparticles tuned to the near infrared. The disclosed nanoparticles can be used in molecular imaging, diagnosis, and treatment. Methods for imaging cells are also provided.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
 Aspects of the invention were funded in part by Grant Number DE-FG02-97ER14799 awarded by the Department of Energy. The U.S. Government has certain rights in the invention.