Active modulation of nanorod plasmons

Saumyakanti Khatua, Wei Shun Chang, Pattanawit Swanglap, Jana Olson, Stephan Link

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Confining visible light to nanoscale dimensions has become possible with surface plasmons. Many plasmonic elements have already been realized. Nanorods, for example, function as efficient optical antennas. However, active control of the plasmonic response remains a roadblock for building optical analogues of electronic circuits. We present a new approach to modulate the polarized scattering intensities of individual gold nanorods by 100% using liquid crystals with applied voltages as low as 4 V. This novel effect is based on the transition from a homogeneous to a twisted nematic phase of the liquid crystal covering the nanorods. With our method it will be possible to actively control optical antennas as well as other plasmonic elements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3797-3802
Number of pages6
JournalNano letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 14 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • active plasmonics
  • Gold nanorods
  • liquid crystal
  • single particle scattering spectroscopy
  • surface plasmon resonance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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