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Nat Nanotechnol. 2014 Dec;9(12):1002-6. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2014.243. Epub 2014 Nov 2.

Feedback-driven self-assembly of symmetry-breaking optical metamaterials in solution.

Author information

1
1] NSF Nano-scale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC), 3112 Etcheverry Hall, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, USA [2] Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.
2
NSF Nano-scale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC), 3112 Etcheverry Hall, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.
3
1] NSF Nano-scale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC), 3112 Etcheverry Hall, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, USA [2] Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, California 94720, USA [3] Department of Physics, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, 21589, Saudi Arabia [4] Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94704, USA.

Abstract

Thermodynamically driven self-assembly offers a direct route to organize individual nanoscopic components into three-dimensional structures over a large scale. The most thermodynamically favourable configurations, however, may not be ideal for some applications. In plasmonics, for instance, nanophotonic constructs with non-trivial broken symmetries can display optical properties of interest, such as Fano resonance, but are usually not thermodynamically favoured. Here, we present a self-assembly route with a feedback mechanism for the bottom-up synthesis of a new class of symmetry-breaking optical metamaterials. We self-assemble plasmonic nanorod dimers with a longitudinal offset that determines the degree of symmetry breaking and its electromagnetic response. The clear difference in plasmonic resonance profiles of nanorod dimers in different configurations enables high spectra selectivity. On the basis of this plasmonic signature, our self-assembly route with feedback mechanism promotes the assembly of desired metamaterial structures through selective excitation and photothermal disassembly of unwanted assemblies in solution. In this fashion, our method can selectively reconfigure and homogenize the properties of the dimer, leading to highly monodispersed aqueous metamaterials with tailored symmetries and electromagnetic responses.

PMID:
25362475
DOI:
10.1038/nnano.2014.243

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