Reversible gold nanorod alignment in mechano-responsive elastomers

Pletsch, Holger; Tebbe, Moritz; Dulle, Martin; Förster, Beate; Fery, Andreas; Förster, Stephan; Greiner, Andreas; Agarwal, Seema
Polymer, 2015

Inspired by an increasing demand for stimuli-controlled assembly of nanostructures, mechano-responsive nanocomposites are designed with tremendous scope in material applications. Providing switchable properties by means of mechanical stimulation, elastomer-incorporated gold nanorods (AuNR) are presented herein. Stepless and reversible control over the orientational AuNR alignment – and therefore over macroscopic anisotropy – is exerted by uniaxial film elongation. In context of optical applications, substantial impact on the plasmonic properties within adjustable spectral ranges is demonstrated. Mechano-responsive nanocomposites with high thermal colloidal stability are prepared via a facile hetero-phase ligand exchange procedure where complete coverage of the AuNR surface with hydrophobic ligands is achieved.

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KEYWORDS: Colloids, Composites, Nanoparticles