Tuning the optical1, 2, electromagnetic3, 4 and mechanical properties of a material requires simultaneous control over its composition and shape5. This is particularly challenging for complex structures at the nanoscale because surface-energy minimization generally causes small structures to be highly symmetric5. Here we combine low-temperature shadow deposition with nanoscale patterning to realize nanocolloids with anisotropic three-dimensional shapes, feature sizes down to 20 nm and a wide choice of materials. We demonstrate the versatility of the fabrication scheme by growing three-dimensional hybrid nanostructures that contain several functional materials with the lowest possible symmetry, and by fabricating hundreds of billions of plasmonic nanohelices, which we use as chiral metafluids with record circular dichroism and tunable chiroptical properties.
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