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Nano spiral staircases modify light
Date:3/14/2012

The small clearance between the particles ensures that the gold particles of a DNA strand work in unison, thereby amplifying the interactions many fold. Professor Alexander O. Govorov, theoretical physicist at the Ohio State University in Athens, USA, had predicted that the effect should depend on the spacing, size and composition of the metal particles. Using the DNA origami method, the Munich physicists built up nanostructures in which they varied these parameters.

The results of these experiments confirm the predictions of their colleagues in every regard: Aqueous solutions of right-handed and left-handed nano spiral staircases differ visibly in their interactions with circular polarized light. Spiral staircases with large particles show a significantly stronger optical response than those with small particles. The chemical composition of the particles also had a large effect: When the gold particles were coated with a layer of silver, the optical resonance shifted from the red to the shorter wave blue domain.

By combining theoretical calculations and the possibilities of DNA origami, the researchers are now able to produce nano-optical materials with precisely specified characteristics. Professor Tim Liedl describes the path the research might follow: "We will now investigate whether we can use this method to influence the refraction index of the materials we manufacture. Materials with a negative refractive index could be used to develop novel optical lens systems so-called super lenses."


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Contact: Dr. Andreas Battenberg
battenberg@zv.tum.de
49-892-891-0510
Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Source:Eurekalert  

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