The combination of plasmonic nanostructures with a thermo-responsive polymer is a promising route towards nanophotonic functionality. In this thesis, the static and the dynamic behavior of the thermally induced phase transition of the polymer PNIPAM (poly-N-isopropylamide) is investigated, which is grafted to the surface of gold nanoparticles embedded in water. The optical properties of the electron-beam lithographically fabricated gold nanoparticles are used in two ways. Firstly, their strong absorption is employed for optically heating them and, secondly, their localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) sensitively depends on the optical properties of the particles' immediate environment. The temperature dependent phase transition of PNIPAM induces a LSPR wavelength shift, which in turn is detected.We find that the PNIPAM layer thickness clearly influences the induced LSPR shift. A thicker PNIPAM coating leads to a larger LSPR shift, whereas for a thinner coating a kind of memory effect (hysteresis) in addition to a smaller LSPR shift is observed.The dynamics of the phase transition is studied as a function of the thermo-optically induced jump in temperature, the duration of the heating interval and the water base temperature. For a thinner PNIPAM coating a faster timescale of the phase transition is observed than for a thicker coating. The time dependence of the PNIPAM phase transition can be described by a bi-exponential decay model. The slow component exhibits a temperature-sensitive behavior, which can be attributed to the PNIPAM phase transition. This is in contrast to the fast component found to be independent of temperature.The time constants measured here (10-20 s and 150-400 s, respectively) correspond well to the values reported in literature for PNIPAM in solution. In contrast to the observations on PNIPAM layers in the frame of this work, no dependence of the longer time constant on the water base-temperature is observed for PNIPAM in solution.