Reversible self-assembly of gold nanorods mediated by photoswitchable molecular adsorption

  • Qian Wang
  • Di Li
  • Junyan Xiao
  • Fucheng Guo
  • Limin QiEmail author
Research Article


Stimuli-responsive self-assembly of nanoparticles represents a powerful strategy to achieve reconfigurable materials with novel functionalities and promising applications. In this regard, light-induced reversible self-assembly (LIRSA) of nanoparticles is most attractive but it is usually limited by the prerequisite yet cumbersome chemical functionalizations of the particle surface. Here we describe an innovative method to realize LIRSA of gold nanorods (GNRs) without surface functionalization through photoswitchable adsorption of an anionic azobenzene derivate AzoNa. The LIRSA of GNRs is caused by the reversible change between a nearly neutral state and a highly charged state of the GNRs arising from the photoswichable adsorption of AzoNa triggered by photoisomerization. The LIRSA behavior can be readily adjusted by changing the concentration of AzoNa and the aspect ratio of the GNRs. This new LIRSA strategy may provide a convenient and efficient route toward light-triggered reversibly reconfigurable nanomaterials.


self-assembly of nanoparticles gold nanorods reversible self-assembly photoswichable adsorption reconfigurable nanomaterials 


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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21673007).

Supplementary material


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qian Wang
    • 1
  • Di Li
    • 1
  • Junyan Xiao
    • 1
  • Fucheng Guo
    • 1
  • Limin Qi
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences (BNLMS), College of ChemistryPeking UniversityBeijingChina

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