Berkeley scientists develop quick and inexpensive way to align nanorods
Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a relatively fast, easy and inexpensive technique for inducing nanorods to self-assemble into one-, two- and even three-dimensional macroscopic structures. The research group used block copolymers as a platform to guide the self-assembly of nanorods into complex structures and hierarchical patterns. This technique should enable more effective use of nanorods in solar cells, magnetic storage devices and sensors. It should also help boost the electrical and mechanical properties of nanorod-polymer composites. Additionally it can produce ordered arrays of nanorods that are macroscopically aligned with tunable distances between individual rods a morphology that lends itself to the production of plasmonics, which are materials that hold great promise for superfast computers, ultra-powerful optical microscopes and even the creation of invisibility carpets.