Chiral plasmonic liquid crystal gold nanoparticles: self-assembly into a circular dichroism responsive helical lamellar superstructure†
Owing to their proven and promising potential in various technological endeavors ranging from catalysis and sensing to invisibility cloaks made from metamaterials, chiral plasmonic superstructures resulting from the directed self-assembly of optically active metal nanoparticles (MNPs) have been pursued intensively in recent years. Several strategic efforts have emerged especially to accomplish advanced nanomaterials assembling into liquid crystalline (LC) helical structures, where MNPs are regularly packed in fluid/frozen arrays/layers or wires (columns). While the helical fluid columnar arrays (molecular wires) showing circular dichroism (CD) have been realized, the discovery of fluid chiral lamellar ordering, where the dielectric and conducting regimes are arranged alternatively, has hitherto remained highly elusive. Herein we report the first examples of monodisperse LC-gold NPs (LC-GNPs) self-assembling into a fluid/frozen lamellar structure exhibiting CD activity. Notably, these new, exceptional LC-GNPs have been realized by simple, hassle-free protocols that involve the room temperature addition of LC dimer-like arylamines to Au(III), where the amines not only reduce Au(III) to Au(0) but also bind strongly to the central GNP scaffold. Their molecular structure, mesomorphism, and ability to interact with circularly polarized light have been evidenced unambiguously and could play an important role in realizing metamaterials in the visible region.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Nanoscale Advances HOT Article Collection