Hinged nanorods made using a chemical approach to flexible nanostructures

Nat Nanotechnol. 2007 Sep;2(9):565-9. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2007.250. Epub 2007 Aug 12.


The fabrication of multifunctional nanomaterials and their subsequent use for novel applications in various branches of nanotechnology has been under intense scrutiny. Particularly in the area of nanomechanics, the design of multicomponent nanostructures with an integrated multifunctionality would enable the construction of building blocks for nanoscale analogues of macroscopic objects. Here, we introduce a new class of flexible nanostructures: metallic nanorods with polyelectrolyte hinges, synthesized using layer-by-layer electrostatic self-assembly of oppositely charged polyelectrolytes on barcode metal nanorods followed by segment-selective chemical etching. Nanorods with hinges that consist of one polyelectrolyte bilayer display considerable flexibility, but with a greater number of bilayers the flexibility of the hinge is significantly reduced. Magnetically induced bending about the polymer hinge is illustrated through the incorporation of nickel segments into the barcodes and the application of an external fluctuating magnetic field.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Crystallization / methods*
  • Elasticity
  • Macromolecular Substances / chemistry
  • Materials Testing
  • Metals / chemistry*
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Nanotechnology / methods*
  • Nanotubes / chemistry*
  • Nanotubes / ultrastructure*
  • Particle Size
  • Surface Properties


  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Metals