3 years ago

Dynamics of Templated Assembly of Nanoparticle Filaments within Nanochannels

Dynamics of Templated Assembly of Nanoparticle Filaments within Nanochannels
Petr Král, Zhaslan Baraissov, Sanoj Raj, Utkur Mirsaidov, Ermanno Miele
Nanoparticles (NPs) can self-assemble into complex, organized superstructures on patterned surfaces through fluid-mediated interactions. However, the detailed mechanisms for such NP assemblies are largely unknown. Here, using in situ transmission electron microscopy, the stepwise self-assembly dynamics of hydrophobic gold NPs into long filaments formed on the surfaces of water-filled patterned nanochannel templates is observed. First, the formation of a meniscus between the nanochannel walls, during the slow drying of water, causes accumulation of the NPs in the middle of the nanochannels. Second, owing to the strong van der Waals attraction between the NP ligands, the NPs condense into filaments along the centers of the nanochannels. Filaments with highly fluctuating longitudinal NP densities are also observed to fragment into separated structures. Understanding the intermediate stages of fluid-mediated NP self-assembly on patterned surfaces will have important implications for the controlled formation of templated NP assemblies with numerous applications. Patterned surfaces can serve as templates that organize nanoparticles into complex structures, but the way such organization occurs is largely unknown. Direct nanoscale imaging reveals the assembly dynamics of robust synthetic filaments from a suspension of hydrophobic nanoparticles inside the patterned nanochannel arrays. The nanoparticles first accumulate in the center of the nanochannel and then condense into a filament through van der Waals interactions.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/adma.201702682

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