Active Molecular Plasmonics: Controlling Plasmon Resonances with Molecular Switches

A gold nanodisk array, coated with bistable, redox-controllable [2]rotaxane molecules, when exposed to chemical oxidants and reductants, undergoes switching of its plasmonic properties reversibly. By contrast, (i) bare gold nanodisks and (ii) disks coated with a redox-active, but mechanically inert, control compound do not display surface-plasmon-based switching. Along with calculations based on time-dependent density functional theory, these experimental observations suggest that the nanoscale movements within surface-bound “molecular machines” can be used as the active components in plasmonic devices.

Zheng YB, Yang Y-W, Jensen L, Fang L, Juluri BK, et al. (2009) Active Molecular Plasmonics: Controlling Plasmon Resonances with Molecular Switches. Nano Lett 9: 819–825. Available:

We thank Dr. Amanda J. Haes (The University of Iowa) for providing the MATHCAD code used in the Kramers-Kronig analysis and Dr. Vincent Crespi for helpful discussions. This research was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Penn State Center for Nanoscale Science (an NSF-funded MRSEC). Components of this work were conducted at the Pennsylvania State University node of the NSF-funded National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network. One of the authors (Y.B.Z.) thanks the support of a KAUST Scholar Award and the Founder's Prize and Grant of the American Academy of Mechanics.

American Chemical Society (ACS)

Nano Letters


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