Precisely Size-Tunable Monodisperse Hairy Plasmonic Nanoparticles via Amphiphilic Star-Like Block Copolymers

Yihuang Chen, Young Jun Yoon, Xinchang Pang, Yanjie He, Jaehan Jung, Chaowei Feng, Guangzhao Zhang, Zhiqun Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


In situ precision synthesis of monodisperse hairy plasmonic nanoparticles with tailored dimensions and compositions by capitalizing on amphiphilic star-like diblock copolymers as nanoreactors are reported. Such hairy plasmonic nanoparticles comprise uniform noble metal nanoparticles intimately and perpetually capped by hydrophobic polymer chains (i.e., “hairs”) with even length. Interestingly, amphiphilic star-like diblock copolymer nanoreactors retain the spherical shape under reaction conditions, and the diameter of the resulting plasmonic nanoparticles and the thickness of polymer chains situated on the surface of the nanoparticle can be readily and precisely tailored. These hairy nanoparticles can be regarded as hard/soft core/shell nanoparticles. Notably, the polymer “hairs” are directly and permanently tethered to the noble metal nanoparticle surface, thereby preventing the aggregation of nanoparticles and rendering their dissolution in nonpolar solvents and the homogeneous distribution in polymer matrices with long-term stability. This amphiphilic star-like block copolymer nanoreactor-based strategy is viable and robust and conceptually enables the design and synthesis of a rich variety of hairy functional nanoparticles with new horizons for fundamental research on self-assembly and technological applications in plasmonics, catalysis, energy conversion and storage, bioimaging, and biosensors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6714-6723
Number of pages10
Issue number48
StatePublished - 28 Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Y.C. and Y.J.Y. contributed equally to this work. Y.C. and G.Z. gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the China Scholarship Council. This work was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (FA9550-16-1-0187) and the National Science Foundation (CMMI 1562075, Z.L.).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • amphiphilic star-like block copolymers
  • hairy plasmonic nanoparticles
  • hard/soft hybrid nanomaterials
  • nanoreactors
  • stable


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