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Topological nanocolloids with facile electric switching of plasmonic properties

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Abstract

Combining topology and plasmonics paradigms in nanocolloidal systems may enable new means of pre-engineering desired composite material properties. Here we design and realize orientationally ordered assemblies of noble metal nanoparticles with genus-one topology and unusual long-range ordering mediated by their interactions with the surrounding nematic fluid host. Facile electric switching of these composites is reminiscent of that of pristine liquid crystals (LCs), but provides a means of reconfiguring the nanoparticle assembly and thus also the ensuing composite medium’s optical properties. Our findings may lead to formation of new molecular-colloidal soft matter phases with unusual optical properties, as well as optical metamaterials.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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