DNA-Enabled Chiral Gold Nanoparticle-Chromophore Hybrid Structure with Resonant Plasmon-Exciton Coupling Gives Unusual and Strong Circular Dichroism

Xiang Lan, Xu Zhou, Lauren A. McCarthy, Alexander O. Govorov, Yan Liu, Stephan Link

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Circular dichroism (CD) from hybrid complexes of plasmonic nanostructures and chiral molecules has recently attracted significant interest. However, the hierarchical chiral self-assembly of molecules on surfaces of metal nanostructures has remained challenging. As a result, a deep understanding of plasmon-exciton coupling between surface plasmons and chiral collective molecular excitations has not been achieved. In particular, the critical impact of resonant plasmon-exciton coupling within the hybrid is unclear. Here, we employed DNAlated strategies to control the chiral self-assembly of achiral chromophores with rationally tuned exciton transitions on gold nanosphere (AuNP) or gold nanorod (AuNR) surfaces. Unlike many previous chiral plasmonic hybrids utilizing chiral biomolecules with CD signals in the UV range, we designed structures with the chiral excitonic resonances at visible wavelengths. The constructed hybrid complexes displayed strong chiroptical activity that depends on the spectral overlap between the chiral collective molecular excitations and the plasmon resonances. We find that when spectral overlap is optimized, the molecular CD signal originating from the chiral self-assemblies of chromophores was strongly enhanced (maximum enhancement of nearly an order of magnitude) and a plasmonic CD signal was induced. Surprisingly, the sign of the molecular CD was reversed despite different self-assembly mechanisms of the Au nanoparticle-chromophore hybrids. Our results provide new insight into plasmonic CD enhancements and will inspire further studies on chiral light-matter interactions in strongly coupled plasmonic-excitonic systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19336-19341
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number49
Publication statusPublished - Dec 11 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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