5 years ago

Controlling the Nanocontact Nature and the Mechanical Properties of a Silica Nanoparticle Assembly

Controlling the Nanocontact Nature and the Mechanical Properties of a Silica Nanoparticle Assembly
H. Piombini, G. Vaudel, C. Boscher, J. Avice, V. E. Gusev, P. Belleville, P. Ruello, V. Juvé, C. Méthivier, M. Edely, G. Brotons
Elaborating advanced nanomaterials based on the assembly of nanoparticles (NPs) is a versatile route for targeting and tuning a wide variety of properties like optical, magnetic, and electrical properties or sensing. This route usually employs a so-called soft chemistry which has the advantage of being quite cheap and transferable to an industrial level. However, getting quantitative information on the quality of the mechanical consolidation of the nanoparticle assembly (ordered or disordered) in a nondestructive manner is not often achieved, although it is crucial for applications and integration of materials in devices. Therefore, we present in this Article a complete method where we evaluate the elasticity of weakly (van der Waals nanocontacts) to strongly (covalent-hydrogen nanocontacts) interacting nanoparticle assemblies. This complete work is realized on a disordered silica nanoparticle network obtained by the sol–gel method. A precise control of the chemical and physical properties of the nanoparticle surface molecular landscape is achieved thanks to infrared, visible, and ultraviolet spectroscopies as well as surface tension measurements and atomic force microscopy, while the nanoparticle assembly elastic stiffness is evaluated by ultrafast nanoacoustics based on an optical pump–probe method.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b08404

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b08404

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