456858 Inorganic Chiroptical Nanomaterials: Design Strategies and Origin of Homochirality

Tuesday, November 15, 2016: 10:25 AM
Continental 1 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Jihyeon Yeom, Macromolecular Science and Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI and Nicholas Kotov, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Recently, chirality of inorganic nanomaterials has been considered of much importance because they are of prime fundamental and practical interest due to the favorable power-law scaling of near-field enhancements1. The interest in the synthesis of chiral nanostructures has been fueled by the potential application of chiral nanostructures in biosensing, telecommunication, display technologies, diffraction-free patterning, and chiral catalysis2. Although chirality is often associated with biochemistry due to numerous chiral bio-molecules, today chiral inorganic nanostructures have attracted much attention as such their optical properties remain largely unexplored.

 A further motivation to study chirality of inorganic nanostructures is to discover the origin of homochirality in natural compounds. The prevalence of only L-type amino acids and D-type sugars in nature is well-known example of homochirality. This dominant existence of only one of the two enantiomers among natural products has kept scientific attentions for decades. Several chemical routes are being debated, including chiral amplification and influence of circularly polarized light (CPL) from the cosmos. However, the circular polarization of cosmic light is dominantly observed in infrared range that is not absorbed by simple organic molecules.

In the talk, I will introduce a new strategy for synthesizing chiral semiconducting2 and metallic nanostructures using CPL. This demonstration is showing the ability of nanoparticles that imprinting circular polarization information on their geometries, and also opens a door to understand the origin of homochirality.


  1. Kuzyk, A. et al. DNA-based self-assembly of chiral plasmonic nanostructures with tailored optical response. Nature 483, 311–4 (2012).
  2. Yeom, J. et al. Chiral templating of self-assembling nanostructures by circularly polarized light. Nat. Mater. 14, 66–72 (2015).

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