Controlled synthesis of highly-branched plasmonic gold nanoparticles through peptoid engineering
An international team has developed nature-inspired guidelines for designing molecules that can produce nanoparticles with predictable shapes, from spherical to coral-like, which could be useful for energy-related applications.
Nature makes synthesizing nanostructured inorganic materials look simple. Bio-organisms regularly produce a broad range of functional materials with complex structures at high yields and energy efficiencies under mild conditions. But scientists have struggled to attain a similar level of success in the lab.
Now, researchers at Deakin University in Australia, together with scientists in the USA and China, have used small organic molecules called peptoids to control the growth of coral-like, branched gold nanostructures. The team developed a rule of thumb that allowed them to design structures with shapes ranging from spheres to coral-like structures.
The team showed that the coral-like gold nanoparticles could enhance the local electromagnetic field of light by up to 100,000 times, making them potentially useful for energy-related applications.
- Nature Communications 9, 2327 (2018). doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-04789-2