Improved Size-Tunable Synthesis of Monodisperse Gold Nanorods through the Use of Aromatic Additives

We report an improved synthesis of colloidal gold nanorods (NRs) by using aromatic additives that reduce the concentration of hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide surfactant to ∼0.05 M as opposed to 0.1 M in well-established protocols. The method optimizes the synthesis for each of the 11 additives studied, allowing a rich array of monodisperse gold NRs with longitudinal surface plasmon resonance tunable from 627 to 1246 nm to be generated. The gold NRs form large-area ordered assemblies upon slow evaporation of NR solution, exhibiting liquid crystalline ordering and several distinct local packing motifs that are dependent upon the NR’s aspect ratio. Tailored synthesis of gold NRs with simultaneous improvements in monodispersity and dimensional tunability through rational introduction of additives will not only help to better understand the mechanism of seed-mediated growth of gold NRs but also advance the research on plasmonic metamaterials incorporating anisotropic metal nanostructures.