Plasmonic/Nonlinear Optical Material Core/Shell Nanorods as Nanoscale Plasmon Modulators and Optical Voltage Sensors
Anxiang Yin, Qiyuan He, Zhaoyang Lin, Liang Luo, Yuan Liu, Sen Yang, Hao Wu, Mengning Ding, Yu Huang, Xiangfeng Duan
Angew. Chemie Intl. Ed. 128, 593-597 (2016)
Herein, we report the design and synthesis of plasmonic/non-linear optical (NLO) material core/shell nanostructures that can allow dynamic manipulation of light signals using an external electrical field and enable a new generation of nanoscale optical voltage sensors. We show that gold nanorods (Au NRs) can be synthesized with tunable plasmonic properties and function as the nucleation seeds for continued growth of a shell of NLO materials (such as polyaniline, PANI) with variable thickness. The formation of a PANI nanoshell allows dynamic modulation of the dielectric environment of the plasmonic Au NRs, and therefore the plasmonic resonance characteristics, by an external electrical field. The finite element simulation confirms that such modulation is originated from the field-induced modulation of the dielectric constant of the NLO shell. This approach is general, and the coating of the Au NRs with other NLO materials (such as barium titanate, BTO) is found to produce a similar effect. These findings can not only open a new pathway to active modulation of plasmonic resonance at the sub-wavelength scale but also enable the creation of a new generation of nanoscale optical voltage sensors (NOVS).