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Understanding and tailoring ligand interactions in the self-assembly of branched colloidal nanocrystals into planar superlattices

Castelli, Andrea, de Graaf, Joost, Marras, Sergio, Brescia, Rosaria, Goldoni, Luca, Manna, Liberato and Arciniegas, Milena P. 2018. Understanding and tailoring ligand interactions in the self-assembly of branched colloidal nanocrystals into planar superlattices. Nature Communications 9 (1) , -. 10.1038/s41467-018-03550-z

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Abstract

Colloidal nanocrystals can self-assemble into highly ordered superlattices. Recent studies have focused on changing their morphology by tuning the nanocrystal interactions via ligand-based surface modification for simple particle shapes. Here we demonstrate that this principle is transferable to and even enriched in the case of a class of branched nanocrystals made of a CdSe core and eight CdS pods, so-called octapods. Through careful experimental analysis, we show that the octapods have a heterogeneous ligand distribution, resembling a cone wrapping the individual pods. This induces location-specific interactions that, combined with variation of the pod aspect ratio and ligands, lead to a wide range of planar superlattices assembled at an air–liquid interface. We capture these findings using a simple simulation model, which reveals the necessity of including ligand-based interactions to achieve these superlattices. Our work evidences the sensitivity that ligands offer for the self-assembly of branched nanocrystals, thus opening new routes for metamaterial creation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2041-1723
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 May 2019
Date of Acceptance: 22 February 2018
Last Modified: 09 May 2019 10:45
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/122236

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