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Nano Lett. 2012 Feb 8;12(2):977-83. doi: 10.1021/nl204055r. Epub 2012 Jan 26.

Induced chirality through electromagnetic coupling between chiral molecular layers and plasmonic nanostructures.

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School of Chemistry, Joseph Black Building, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, United Kingdom.


We report a new approach for creating chiral plasmonic nanomaterials. A previously unconsidered, far-field mechanism is utilized which enables chirality to be conveyed from a surrounding chiral molecular material to a plasmonic resonance of an achiral metallic nanostructure. Our observations break a currently held preconception that optical properties of plasmonic particles can most effectively be manipulated by molecular materials through near-field effects. We show that far-field electromagnetic coupling between a localized plasmon of a nonchiral nanostructure and a surrounding chiral molecular layer can induce plasmonic chirality much more effectively (by a factor of 10(3)) than previously reported near-field phenomena. We gain insight into the mechanism by comparing our experimental results to a simple electromagnetic model which incorporates a plasmonic object coupled with a chiral molecular medium. Our work offers a new direction for the creation of hybrid molecular plasmonic nanomaterials that display significant chiroptical properties in the visible spectral region.

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