Lucas V. Besteiro, Hui Zhang, Jérôme Plain, Gil Markovich, Zhiming Wang, Alexander O. Govorov,
Aluminum Nanoparticles with Hot Spots for Plasmon- Induced Circular Dichroism of Chiral Molecules in the UV Spectral Interval
Advanced Optical Materials
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Plasmonic nanocrystals with hot spots are able to localize optical energy in small spaces. In such physical systems, near-field interactions between molecules and plasmons can become especially strong. This paper considers the case of a nanoparticle dimer and a chiral biomolecule. In this model, a chiral molecule is placed in the gap between two plasmonic nanoparticles, where the electromagnetic hot spot occurs. Since many important biomolecules have optical transitions in the UV spectral region, the case of aluminum nanoparticles is considered, as they offer strong electromagnetic enhancements in the blue and UV spectral intervals. The calculations in this study show that the complex composed of a chiral molecule and an Al dimer exhibits strong circular dichroism (CD) signals in the plasmonic spectral region. In contrast to the standard Au and Ag nanocrystals, the Al system may have a much better spectral overlap between the typical biomolecule's optical transitions and the nanocrystals' plasmonic band. Overall, it is found that Al nanocrystals used as CD antennas exhibit unique properties as compared to other commonly studied plasmonic and dielectric materials. The plasmonic systems investigated in this study can be potentially used for sensing chirality of biomolecules, which is of interest in applications such as drug development.