Researchers unveil mechanism to obtain metal 'nanoscrews'

Date: 25 June 2020

Introduction: The EMAT group of Sara Bals leads unveils the 3D structure or novel helical gold nanoparticles synthesised for the first time in a collaboration with Prof. L. Liz-Marzan from CICBioMagune (Spain).

Eesearchers at the Centre for Cooperative Research in Biomaterials CIC biomaGUNE led by Prof. L. Liz-Marzan have developed a mechanism by which gold atoms are deposited by means of chemical reduction onto previously formed gold nanorods to produce a quasi-helicoidal structure (the particles acquire chirality). This geometry enables these "nanoscrews" to interact with circularly polarized light much more efficiently than what is achieved with any other known object. These properties could lead to the detecting of biomolecules in a very selective and very sensitive way. What we have here is a versatile, reproducible mechanism that is scalable for the fabrication of nanoparticles with strong chiral optical activity. The 3D characterization of these novel structures was made possible through advanced electron tomography methods developed by Prof. Sara Bals from EMAT, University of Antwer. This piece of research has been published in the prestigious scientific journal Science.

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Micelle-directed chiral seeded growth on anisotropic gold nanocrystals
Science  26 Jun 2020, Vol. 368, Issue 6498, pp. 1472-1477
DOI: 10.1126/science.aba0980