Optical Control and Patterning of Gold-Nanorod–Poly(vinyl alcohol) Nanocomposite Films


  • We thank A. Sánchez-Iglesias for assistance with chemical synthesis. We also thank Prof. H. Michinel and Prof. J. Domînguez for granting access to a nanosecond laser and a polarizing optical microscope, respectively. Financial support from the Spanish Xunta de Galicia (Project no. PGIDIT03TMT30101PR), the Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia/FEDER (Project MAT2004-02991), and the ARC (Grant DP0344356) are gratefully acknowledged. Supporting Information is available from WileyInterscience (www.wileyinterscience.com) or from the author.


Gold nanorods with well-defined aspect ratios are homogeneously incorporated within poly(vinyl alcohol) thin films and subsequently aligned by heating and stretching the nanocomposite films. The spatial alignment of the nanorods is directly proved using transmission electron microscopy. The polarization-dependent optical response of the rods is measured and compared with a dipole model. Excellent agreement is found. Additionally, irradiation of the film with nanosecond laser pulses (1064 nm) leads to selective reshaping of the nanorods into nanospheres, and we demonstrate that this effect can be used to micropattern optical structures into the films.