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Controlling the Degree of Polymerization, Bond Lengths, and Bond Angles of Plasmonic Polymers
- Lukach, Ariella, Liu, Kun, Therien-Aubin, Heloise, Kumacheva, Eugenia
- Journal of the American Chemical Society 2012 v.134 no.45 pp. 18853-18859
- engineering, gold, ligands, nanoparticles, nanorods, optical properties, polymerization, polymers
- Plasmonic polymers present an interesting concept that builds on the analogy between molecular polymers and linear chains of strongly interacting metal nanoparticles. Ensemble-averaged optical properties of plasmonic polymers are strongly influenced by their structure. In the present work, we formed plasmonic polymers by using solution-based assembly of gold nanorods (NRs) end-tethered with photoactive macromolecular tethers. By using postassembly ligand photo-cross-linking, we established a method to arrest NR polymer growth after a particular self-assembly time, and in this manner, using kinetics of step-growth polymerization, we achieved control over the average degree of polymerization of plasmonic polymers. Photo-cross-linking of ligands also enabled control over the internanorod distance and resulted in the increased rigidity of NR chains. These results, along with a higher structural integrity of NR chains, can be utilized in plasmonic nanostructure engineering and facilitate advanced applications of plasmonic polymers in sensing and optoelectronics.