Through-space transfer of chiral information mediated by a plasmonic nanomaterial

Saeideh Ostovar pour, Louise Rocks, Karen Faulds, Duncan Graham, Václav Parchaňský, Petr Bouř, Ewan W. Blanch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)
126 Downloads (Pure)


The ability to detect chirality gives stereochemically attuned nanosensors the potential to revolutionise the study of biomolecular processes. Such devices may structurally characterise the mechanisms of protein-ligand binding, the intermediates of amyloidogenic diseases and the effects of phosphorylation and glycosylation. We demonstrate that single nanoparticle plasmonic reporters, or nanotags, can enable a stereochemical response to be transmitted from a chiral analyte to an achiral benzotriazole dye molecule in the vicinity of a plasmon resonance from an achiral metallic nanostructure. The transfer of chirality was verified by the measurement of mirror image surface enhanced resonance Raman optical activity spectra for the two enantiomers of each of ribose and tryptophan. Computational modelling confirms these observations and reveals the novel chirality transfer mechanism responsible. This is the first report of colloidal metal nanoparticles in the form of single plasmonic substrates displaying an intrinsic chiral sensitivity once attached to a chiral molecule.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591–596
Number of pages6
JournalNature Chemistry
Issue number7
Early online date15 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2015


  • chirality
  • Raman spectra
  • chirality detection


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