Enantioselective control of lattice and shape chirality in inorganic nanostructures using chiral biomolecules. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • A large number of inorganic materials form crystals with chiral symmetry groups. Enantioselectively synthesizing nanostructures of such materials should lead to interesting optical activity effects. Here we report the synthesis of colloidal tellurium and selenium nanostructures using thiolated chiral biomolecules. The synthesis conditions are tuned to obtain tellurium nanostructures with chiral shapes and large optical activity. These nanostructures exhibit visible optical and chiroptical responses that shift with size and are successfully simulated by an electromagnetic model. The model shows that they behave as chiral optical resonators. The chiral tellurium nanostructures are transformed into chiral gold and silver telluride nanostructures with very large chiroptical activity, demonstrating a simple colloidal chemistry path to chiral plasmonic and semiconductor metamaterials. These materials are natural candidates for studies related to interactions of chiral (bio)molecules with chiral inorganic surfaces, with relevance to asymmetric catalysis, chiral crystallization and the evolution of homochirality in biomolecules.

publication date

  • January 1, 2014