Chiral Generators: Making Plasmonics Twist

by | Jun 4, 2012

A new chiral material demonstrates a highly efficient optical response.

Chirality and its origin has been the subject of intense research on the route to unravel the basic foundation of life itself – from the 21 essential amino-acids, via carbohydrates, all the way to the nucleic acids and proteins, a huge number of biomolecules show handedness.

Recently, a team led by Shunai Che at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, has made a new novel inorganic material, chiral mesoporous silica, which possesses hexagonally ordered chiral channels winding around the central axis of the rods. Achiral Ag nanoparticles were dispersed into a chiral generator developed from this material, yielding a novel optical response. Such chiral inorganic composites, with their highly efficient plasmonic optical response, will develop new applications for recognition and detection of biomolecules, and will aid in the design of chiral optical modulators and devices based on the importance of surface plasmon resonance.