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Materials 2014, 7(4), 3021-3033; doi:10.3390/ma7043021

Preparation of Nanocomposite Plasmonic Films Made from Cellulose Nanocrystals or Mesoporous Silica Decorated with Unidirectionally Aligned Gold Nanorods

1
Department of Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
2
National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, CO 80305, USA
3
Department of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering Program, and Liquid Crystal Materials Research Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
4
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 March 2014 / Revised: 24 March 2014 / Accepted: 26 March 2014 / Published: 11 April 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liquid Crystals)
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Abstract

Using liquid crystalline self-assembly of cellulose nanocrystals, we achieve long-range alignment of anisotropic metal nanoparticles in colloidal nanocrystal dispersions that are then used to deposit thin structured films with ordering features highly dependent on the deposition method. These hybrid films are comprised of gold nanorods unidirectionally aligned in a matrix that can be made of ordered cellulose nanocrystals or silica nanostructures obtained by using cellulose-based nanostructures as a replica. The ensuing long-range alignment of gold nanorods in both cellulose-based and nanoporous silica films results in a polarization-sensitive surface plasmon resonance. The demonstrated device-scale bulk nanoparticle alignment may enable engineering of new material properties arising from combining the orientational ordering of host nanostructures and properties of the anisotropic plasmonic metal nanoparticles. Our approach may also allow for scalable fabrication of plasmonic polarizers and nanoporous silica structures with orientationally ordered anisotropic plasmonic nanoinclusions.
Keywords: gold nanorods; cellulose nanocrystals; liquid crystal; plasmonics; mesoporous silica gold nanorods; cellulose nanocrystals; liquid crystal; plasmonics; mesoporous silica
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Campbell, M.G.; Liu, Q.; Sanders, A.; Evans, J.S.; Smalyukh, I.I. Preparation of Nanocomposite Plasmonic Films Made from Cellulose Nanocrystals or Mesoporous Silica Decorated with Unidirectionally Aligned Gold Nanorods. Materials 2014, 7, 3021-3033.

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