PerspectiveNanoparticles

Origin of chiroptical activity in nanorod assemblies

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Science  27 Sep 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6460, pp. 1378-1379
DOI: 10.1126/science.aay7776

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Summary

Chiral structures do not superimpose on their mirror images. The origin of chirality at a basic level in individual inorganic nanoparticles and their assemblies are similar biological macromolecules and their nanoscale complexes (1). Chiral materials can rotate the polarization axis of the incident light. For example, they can change how the electric field rotates when light is circularly polarized. This ability is needed for multiple technologies that range from biosensing to three-dimensional displays. On page 1475 of this issue, Zhang et al. (2) studied the optical properties of gold nanorod assemblies templated by albumin, a protein molecule common in blood. Plasmonic nanoparticles are particles whose electron density can strongly couple with incident electromagnetic waves and support resonance oscillatory motion of electron clouds. Although light-matter interactions in the chiral nanocomplex that contain plasmonic nanoparticles are more intense, these interactions are also more diverse than those for biological nanoassemblies.

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