Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 49, Issue 9, pp 3299–3304 | Cite as

Recreating the Lycurgus effect from silver nanoparticles in solutions and in silica gel

  • Jumpei Ueda
  • Makoto Samusawa
  • Keisuke Kumagai
  • Akito Ishida
  • Setsuhisa Tanabe


Ag nanoparticles (AgNPs) solutions were prepared and grown by photochemical reaction using white light sources, specifically such as a Xe lamp, the sunlight, and an incandescent lamp. Dichroism, also called the “Lycurgus effect”, was observed in the obtained AgNPs solutions that were irradiated with white light for several days. The color of the transmitted light through the AgNPs solutions that were irradiated with the Xe lamp, the sunlight, and the incandescent lamp were orange, red, and blue, respectively, whereas the color of scattered light was greenish in all the samples. Based on the results of the transmittance, reflectance spectra, and scanning electron microscope images, the dichroic phenomenon is mainly caused by localized surface plasmon resonance light scattering of large triangular prismatic and decahedral AgNPs. In addition, we successfully prepared a dried silica gel that contains AgNPs with a dichroic property similar to the Lycurgus cup. This was fabricated by the solidification of the AgNPs solutions that were prepared under sunlight irradiation by a sol–gel method.


Localize Surface Plasmon Resonance Resonance Light Scattering Incandescent Lamp White Light Source Localize Surface Plasmon Resonance Peak 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Kreibig U, Vollmer M (1995) Optical properties of metal clusters. Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Dahmen C, von Plessen G (2007) Optical effects of metallic nanoparticles. Austral J Chem 60:447–456CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Weyl WA (1951) Coloured glasses. Society of Glass Technology, SheffieldGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Freestone I, Meeks N, Sax M, Higgitt C (2007) The Lycurgus cup—a roman nanotechnology. Gold Bull 40:270–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Barber DJ, Freestone IC (1990) An investigation of the origin of the colour of the lycurgus cup by analytical transmission electron microscopy. Archaeometry 32:33–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    le Masne de Chermont Q, Chanéac C, Seguin J et al (2007) Nanoprobes with near-infrared persistent luminescence for in vivo imaging. PANS 104:9266–9271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk D (2008) Glass of the Alchemists: lead crystal-gold ruby. Corning Museum of Glass, New York, pp 1650–1750Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Neri A (1612) L’ arte vetraria. FlorenceGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Schlager N, Lauer J (2000) Science and its times: understanding the social significance of scientific discovery. Gale Group, Farmington HillsGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Callegari A, Tonti D, Chergui M (2003) Photochemically grown silver nanoparticles with wavelength-controlled size and shape. Nano Lett 3:1565–1568CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Pietrobon B, Kitaev V (2008) Photochemical synthesis of monodisperse size-controlled silver decahedral nanoparticles and their remarkable optical properties. Chem Mater 20:5186–5190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Stamplecoskie KG, Scaiano JC (2010) Light emitting diode irradiation can control the morphology and optical properties of silver nanoparticles. JACS 132:1825–1827CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gartia MR, Hsiao A, Pokhriyal A et al (2013) Colorimetric plasmon resonance imaging using nano lycurgus cup arrays. Adv Opt Mater 1:68–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Yang L-C, Lai Y-S, Tsai C-M, Kong Y-T, Lee C-I, Huang C-L (2012) One-pot synthesis of monodispersed silver nanodecahedra with optimal SERS activities using seedless photo-assisted citrate reduction method. J Phys Chem C 116:24292–24300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Wang H, Zheng X, Chen J et al (2012) Transformation from silver nanoprisms to nanodecahedra in a temperature-controlled photomediated synthesis. J Phys Chem C 116:24268–24273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Tang B, Xu S, Hou X et al (2013) Shape evolution of silver nanoplates through heating and photoinduction. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 5:646–653CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jumpei Ueda
    • 1
    • 2
  • Makoto Samusawa
    • 1
  • Keisuke Kumagai
    • 3
  • Akito Ishida
    • 3
  • Setsuhisa Tanabe
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Human and Environmental StudiesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of Global Environmental StudiesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  3. 3.Graduate School of Life and Environmental SciencesKyoto Prefectural UniversityKyotoJapan

Personalised recommendations