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Chirality amplification by desymmetrization of chiral ligand-capped nanoparticles to nanorods quantified in soft condensed matter.

Nature communications (2018-09-27)
Ahlam Nemati, Sasan Shadpour, Lara Querciagrossa, Lin Li, Taizo Mori, Min Gao, Claudio Zannoni, Torsten Hegmann
ABSTRACT

Induction, transmission, and manipulation of chirality in molecular systems are well known, widely applied concepts. However, our understanding of how chirality of nanoscale entities can be controlled, measured, and transmitted to the environment is considerably lacking behind. Future discoveries of dynamic assemblies engineered from chiral nanomaterials, with a specific focus on shape and size effects, require exact methods to assess transmission and amplification of nanoscale chirality through space. Here we present a remarkably powerful chirality amplification approach by desymmetrization of plasmonic nanoparticles to nanorods. When bound to gold nanorods, a one order of magnitude lower number of chiral molecules induces a tighter helical distortion in the surrounding liquid crystal-a remarkable amplification of chirality through space. The change in helical distortion is consistent with a quantification of the change in overall chirality of the chiral ligand decorated nanomaterials differing in shape and size as calculated from a suitable pseudoscalar chirality indicator.