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Nature. 2018 Apr;556(7701):360-365. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0034-1. Epub 2018 Apr 18.

Amino-acid- and peptide-directed synthesis of chiral plasmonic gold nanoparticles.

Author information

1
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea.
2
Department of Chemical Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), Pohang, South Korea.
3
Department of Mechanical Engineering, POSTECH, Pohang, South Korea.
4
R&D Center, LG Display, LG Science Park, Seoul, South Korea.
5
Department of Electrical Engineering, POSTECH, Pohang, South Korea.
6
Department of Chemical Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), Pohang, South Korea. jsrho@postech.ac.kr.
7
Department of Mechanical Engineering, POSTECH, Pohang, South Korea. jsrho@postech.ac.kr.
8
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea. nkitae@snu.ac.kr.

Abstract

Understanding chirality, or handedness, in molecules is important because of the enantioselectivity that is observed in many biochemical reactions 1 , and because of the recent development of chiral metamaterials with exceptional light-manipulating capabilities, such as polarization control2-4, a negative refractive index 5 and chiral sensing 6 . Chiral nanostructures have been produced using nanofabrication techniques such as lithography 7 and molecular self-assembly8-11, but large-scale and simple fabrication methods for three-dimensional chiral structures remain a challenge. In this regard, chirality transfer represents a simpler and more efficient method for controlling chiral morphology12-18. Although a few studies18,19 have described the transfer of molecular chirality into micrometre-sized helical ceramic crystals, this technique has yet to be implemented for metal nanoparticles with sizes of hundreds of nanometres. Here we develop a strategy for synthesizing chiral gold nanoparticles that involves using amino acids and peptides to control the optical activity, handedness and chiral plasmonic resonance of the nanoparticles. The key requirement for achieving such chiral structures is the formation of high-Miller-index surfaces ({hkl}, h ≠ k ≠ l ≠ 0) that are intrinsically chiral, owing to the presence of 'kink' sites20-22 in the nanoparticles during growth. The presence of chiral components at the inorganic surface of the nanoparticles and in the amino acids and peptides results in enantioselective interactions at the interface between these elements; these interactions lead to asymmetric evolution of the nanoparticles and the formation of helicoid morphologies that consist of highly twisted chiral elements. The gold nanoparticles that we grow display strong chiral plasmonic optical activity (a dis-symmetry factor of 0.2), even when dispersed randomly in solution; this observation is supported by theoretical calculations and direct visualizations of macroscopic colour transformations. We anticipate that our strategy will aid in the rational design and fabrication of three-dimensional chiral nanostructures for use in plasmonic metamaterial applications.

PMID:
29670265
DOI:
10.1038/s41586-018-0034-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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