skip to main content


This content will become publicly available on January 17, 2019

Title: Tunable Assembly of Gold Nanorods in Polymer Solutions To Generate Controlled Nanostructured Materials

In this study, gold nanorods grafted with short chain polymers are assembled into controlled open structures using polymer-induced depletion interactions and structurally characterized using small angle x-ray scattering. When the nanorod diameter is smaller than the radius of gyration of the depletant polymer, the depletion interaction depends solely on the correlation length of the polymer solution and not directly on the polymer molecular weight. As the polymer concentration increases, the stronger depletion interactions increasingly compress the grafted chains and push the gold nanorods closer together. By contrast, other structural characteristics such as the number of nearest neighbors and fractal dimension exhibit a non-monotonic dependence on polymer concentration. These parameters are maximal at intermediate concentrations, which are attributed to a crossover from reaction-limited to diffusion-limited aggregation. Finally, the control over structural properties of anisotropic nanoscale building blocks demonstrated here will be beneficial to designing and producing materials in situ with specific direction-dependent nanoscale properties and provides a crucial route for advances in additive manufacturing.
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. University of Houston, TX (United States). Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  2. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Advanced Photon Source (APS)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
ACS Applied Nano Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 1; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 2574-0970
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC); Welch Foundation
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; 77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; depletion interactions; fractal structures; protein limit; small-angle X-ray scattering; ultraviolet−visible spectroscopy
OSTI Identifier: