By Cameron Chai
North Carolina State University scientists have developed a scalable and easy method to arrange gold nanorods utilizing electrospun polymer known as‘nano/microfibers.’
Gold nanorods’ optical properties make them to be utilized for up-and-coming biomedical imaging technologies. Arranging gold nanorods is critical, as their response to light varies based on the direction to which the nanorods are pointed.
The scientists fabricated microscale and nanoscale fibers utilizing electrospinning method in which the fibers are produced by solidifying a liquid polymer subsequent to its discharge from an electrospinning needle. They added the gold nanorods into the polymer solution by mixing them with the solution. The nanorods align at the place of formation of the fiber. The force encountered by the liquid polymer during its discharge from the needle forms ‘streamlines’ in the polymer solution.
Dr. Rich Spontak, one of the researchers, stated that electrospinning method at North Carolina State University is an advanced technology and has produced numerous innovative and functional materials. The amazing feature of the method is the possibility of alignment at various length scales concurrently or multiscale alignment, he said. The fibers are arranged at higher length scales, while the nanorods are arranged at nanoscale, he added.
Dr. Joe Tracy, a member of the research team, commented that this is the first time very short gold nanorods have been arranged in electrospun fibers. Particularly, the scientists utilized nanorods having an aspect ratio of 3.1. They used 49-nm long gold nanorods for the study. This aspect ratio is vital, as it manipulates the optical response of the nanorods and thus their optical properties.