We have demonstrated that in a nickel nanoparticle colloid, the optical limiting action reduces if a vapor bubble forms around the nanoparticle. The energy-dependent transmission and z-scan measurements on nickel nanoparticles in toluene show the onset of an additional process. At high fluence excitation, the particle becomes less visible to the later part of the incoming pulse due to the heat generated bubble formed around it. We have proposed a simple “particle-in-bubble” model which fits the optical limiting and z-scan curves quite well. Using this model, we have also estimated that the bubble radius increases at a rate of 4.5 m/s.

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