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Means Found for Changing the Colors of Metal Nanoparticles


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There are a variety of display technologies available now, and each has their advantages and disadvantages. Many more technologies are also being developed now to satisfy different needs, such as efficiency, brightness, and color accuracy. Among these technologies are displays that utilize nanoparticles to produce colors, and researchers at Rice University have discovered the first reversible method for changing the color between metal nanoparticles.

Originally the researchers were working on dimers made from gold nanoparticles, because theory predicted that changes in charge density would result in color changes. While this work was successful, the changes were small and differed from the predictions. They investigated and found the difference was because the silver also used in the experiments was oxidizing and forming bridges between the gold nanoparticles. Instead of searching for a way to remove these bridges, the researchers decided to work with these bridges and found they could control the distance between the nanoparticles via these bridges. It just took changing the voltage applied to the nanoparticles to alter the bridge.

By changing the distance between the gold nanoparticles, the plasmon coupling between them changes, and that affects what color of light scatters from them. Potentially this could be used to create displays and many other plasmonic devices, such as switches and modulators that would have many other applications.

Source: Rice University

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