This content will become publicly available on August 1, 2023
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- ACS Nano
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- National Science Foundation
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Colloidal nanocrystal superlattices as phononic crystals: plane wave expansion modeling of phonon band structureColloidal nanocrystals consist of an inorganic crystalline core with organic ligands bound to the surface and naturally self-assemble into periodic arrays known as superlattices. This periodic structure makes superlattices promising for phononic crystal applications. To explore this potential, we use plane wave expansion methods to model the phonon band structure. We find that the nanoscale periodicity of these superlattices yield phononic band gaps with very high center frequencies on the order of 10 2 GHz. We also find that the large acoustic contrast between the hard nanocrystal cores and the soft ligand matrix lead to very large phononic band gap widths on the order of 10 1 GHz. We systematically vary nanocrystal core diameter, d , nanocrystal core elastic modulus, E NC core , interparticle distance ( i.e. ligand length), L , and ligand elastic modulus, E ligand , and report on the corresponding effects on the phonon band structure. Our modeling shows that the band gap center frequency increases as d and L are decreased, or as E NC core and E ligand are increased. The band gap width behaves non-monotonically with d , L , E NC core , and E ligand , and intercoupling of these variablesmore »
Crystallization is a universal phenomenon underpinning many industrial and natural processes and is fundamental to chemistry and materials science. However, microscopic crystallization pathways of nanoparticle superlattices have been seldom studied mainly owing to the difficulty of real-time observation of individual self-assembling nanoparticles in solution. Here, using in situ electron microscopy, we directly image the full self-assembly pathway from dispersed nanoparticles into ordered superlattices in nonaqueous solution. We show that electron-beam irradiation controls nanoparticle mobility, and the solvent composition largely dictates interparticle interactions and assembly behaviors. We uncover a multistep crystallization pathway consisting of four distinct stages through multi-order-parameter analysis and visualize the formation, migration, and annihilation of multiple types of defects in nanoparticle superlattices. These findings open the door for achieving independent control over imaging conditions and nanoparticle assembly conditions and will enable further study of the microscopic kinetics of assembly and phase transition in nanocolloidal systems.
Observations of nanoparticle superlattice formation over minutes during colloidal nanoparticle synthesis elude description by conventional understanding of self-assembly, which theorizes superlattices require extended formation times to allow for diffusively driven annealing of packing defects. It remains unclear how nanoparticle position annealing occurs on such short time scales despite the rapid superlattice growth kinetics. Here we utilize liquid phase transmission electron microscopy to directly image the self-assembly of platinum nanoparticles into close packed supraparticles over tens of seconds during nanoparticle synthesis. Electron-beam induced reduction of an aqueous platinum precursor formed monodisperse 2–3 nm platinum nanoparticles that simultaneously self-assembled over tens of seconds into 3D supraparticles, some of which showed crystalline ordered domains. Experimentally varying the interparticle interactions ( e.g. , electrostatic, steric interactions) by changing precursor chemistry revealed that supraparticle formation was driven by weak attractive van der Waals forces balanced by short ranged repulsive steric interactions. Growth kinetic measurements and an interparticle interaction model demonstrated that nanoparticle surface diffusion rates on the supraparticles were orders of magnitude faster than nanoparticle attachment, enabling nanoparticles to find high coordination binding sites unimpeded by incoming particles. These results reconcile rapid self-assembly of supraparticles with the conventional self-assembly paradigm in which nanocrystal position annealingmore »
Symmetry-breaking in patch formation on triangular gold nanoparticles by asymmetric polymer grafting
Synthesizing patchy particles with predictive control over patch size, shape, placement and number has been highly sought-after for nanoparticle assembly research, but is fraught with challenges. Here we show that polymers can be designed to selectively adsorb onto nanoparticle surfaces already partially coated by other chains to drive the formation of patchy nanoparticles with broken symmetry. In our model system of triangular gold nanoparticles and polystyrene-
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