Tuning the Morphology and Chiroptical Properties of Discrete Gold Nanorods with Amino Acids

Guangchao Zheng, Zhiyong Bao, Jorge Pérez-Juste, Ruolan Du, Wei Liu, Jiyan Dai, Wei Zhang, Lawrence Yoon Suk Lee, Kwok Yin Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


The synthesis of discrete nanostructures with a strong, persistent, stable plasmonic circular dichroism (PCD) signal is challenging. We report a seed-mediated growth approach to obtain discrete Au nanorods with high and stable chiroptical responses (c-Au NRs) in the visible to near-IR region. The morphology of the c-Au NRs was governed by the concentration of l- or d-cysteine used. The amino acids encapsulated within the discrete gold nanostructure enhance their PCD signal, attributed to coupling of dipoles of chiral molecules with the near-field induced optical activity at the hot spots inside the c-Au NRs. The stability of the PCD signal and biocompatibility of c-Au NRs was improved by coating with silica or protein corona. Discrete c-Au NR@SiO2 with Janus or core–shell configurations retained their PCD signal even in organic solvents. A side-by-side assembly of c-Au NRs induced by l-glutathione led to further PCD signal enhancement, with anisotropic g factors as high as 0.048.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16452-16457
Number of pages6
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number50
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2018


  • amino acid encapsulation
  • biocompatibility
  • chiroptical response
  • gold nanorods
  • morphology control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)


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