Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Chemical Engineering

Major Professor

Vinay K. Gupta, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ryan G. Toomey, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Daniel H. Yeh, Ph.D.


poly(L-glutamic acid), resorcinarene, monolayers, composite particles, linear assembly, end-to-end assembly, reversible assembly, nanotechnology, sensors, metallic nanoparticles


Metallic nanoparticles are unique materials for optical, electronic, catalytic, and sensing applications. Due to the vast flexibility in controlling the surface chemistry of these particles through functionalization there is a great deal of interest in using metallic nanoparticles as building blocks in the development of more complex nanostructures through the use of a 'bottom-up' approach. Using self assembly techniques, one can exploit spontaneous chemical interactions to build complex constructs on the nanometer scale.

Towards this end, gold nanorods have been synthesized and modified with various polymers, inorganic oxides and organic ligands to establish principles for self-assembly of these unique nanomaterials. Gold nanorods are of great interest due to their strong optical absorption in the visible and near infrared regions, which can be tuned through material preparation and modification of the surrounding environment. This thesis focuses on investigating approaches for both irreversible and reversible self-assembly of gold nanorods. Techniques such as dynamic light scattering (DLS), ultraviolet-visible (UV) spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and polarization modulation infrared reflection absorbance spectroscopy (PM-IRRAS) were used to characterize the colloidal particles and gold surfaces. A novel contribution of this work is the successful demonstration of end-to-end linking of gold nanorods in a rapid and reversible manner using a pH responsive polypeptide.