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April 18, 2010

Self-Alignment of Plasmonic Gold Nanorods Could Enable Optical Metamaterial mass production

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Self-Alignment of Plasmonic Gold Nanorods in Reconfigurable Anisotropic Fluids for Tunable Bulk Metamaterial Applications

We demonstrate the bulk self-alignment of dispersed gold nanorods imposed by the intrinsic cylindrical micelle self-assembly in nematic and hexagonal liquid crystalline phases of anisotropic fluids. External magnetic field and shearing allow for alignment and realignment of the liquid crystal matrix with the ensuing long-range orientational order of well-dispersed plasmonic nanorods. This results in a switchable polarization-sensitive plasmon resonance exhibiting stark differences from that of the same nanorods in isotropic fluids. The device-scale bulk nanoparticle alignment may enable optical metamaterial mass production and control of properties arising from combining the switchable nanoscale structure of anisotropic fluids with the surface plasmon resonance properties of the plasmonic nanorods.
7 pages of supplemental information

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