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Using Localized Surface Plasmon Resonances to Probe the Nanoscopic Origins of Adsorbate-Driven Ordering Transitions of Liquid Crystals in Contact with Chemically Functionalized Gold Nanodots

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journal contribution
posted on 2008-08-13, 00:00 authored by Gary M. Koenig, Brian T. Gettelfinger, Juan J. de Pablo, Nicholas L. Abbott
We report that localized surface plasmon resonances (LSPRs) of gold nanodots immersed under liquid crystals (LCs) can be used to characterize adsorbate-induced ordering transitions of the LCs on the surfaces of the nanodots. The nanoscopic changes in ordering of the LCs, as measured by LSPR, were shown to give rise to macroscopic ordering transitions of the LCs that were observed by polarized light microscopy. The results reported herein suggest that (i) LCs may be useful for enhancing the sensitivity of LSPR-based detection of binding events and (ii) that LSPR measurements of gold nanodots provide a means to characterize the nanoscopic origins of macroscopic, adsorbate-induced LC ordering transitions.