Synthesis, Characterization, and Self-Assembly of Size Tunable Gold Nanorods
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The successful applications of nanoparticles require the ability to tune their properties by controlling size and shape at the nanoscale. In metal nanomaterial research, the optical properties have been of interest especially because of the applications to medical diagnostics and nanooptics. It is important to prepare nanoparticles of well-defined shape and size for properly characterizing the optical properties. We describe improved seed mediated synthesis of gold nanorods (GNRs) producing a high yield of NRs with low polydispersity and few byproducts. The efficient separation of GNRs from mixture of shapes is achieved by understanding the hydrodynamics of nanoparticles undergoing centrifugation. The optical properties of resulting refined GNRs are compared to predictions of existing theories, and the main parameters affecting them are discussed. GNRs with well defined aspect ratios are introduced into a polyvinyl alcohol matrix by means of solution-casting techniques. The film is drawn to induce the uniaxial alignment of GNRs to be used as color polarizing filters. We prepare GNR polarizing filter with different peak positions ranging from visible to near infra red by using different aspect ratio of NRs. To utilize GNRs to make nanoscale devices, spatial organization is required. We characterize the self-assembly of GNRs observed on a TEM grid. The drying process is accompanied by complex hydrodynamic and thermodynamic events, which create rich range of patterns observed. Being anisotropic in shape, the rods can form liquid crystal (LC) assemblies above a certain concentration. We observed LC phase of GNRs by resorting to an evaporation of aqueous NR solution. The convective flow caused by the solvent evaporation carries NRs from the bulk solution to solid-liquid-air interface, which makes the solution locally very concentrated driving the phase transition of NRs. We calculate the order parameter from various assemblies observed, and compare the observed phase behavior to the one expected on the basis of theory.