Self-assembly guided by shape and force

Scientists from the University of Singapore have used Hummingbird’s Liquid Cell TEM imaging platform to demonstrate  that nanoparticles’ shape influence their self-assembly and growth. These results are published in Advanced Materials.


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In this study, nanoparticles with different shapes such as rods, bipyramids, spheres, and cubes were capped with a monolayer of amphiphilic surfactant in the solution and flowed through the enclosed liquid cell.  Direct evidence of the nanoparticle dynamics shows that the strength of their interactions depends on how they are shaped. For example, cuboidal Au nanoparticles show directional (face-to-face) attachment. This work can be a great step towards developing new materials bottom-up with self-assembly.

Reference: Shu Fen Tan, Sanoj Raj, Geeta Bisht, Harshini V. Annadata, Christian A. Nijhuis, Petr Král, and Utkur Mirsaidov. “Nanoparticle Interactions Guided by Shape‐Dependent Hydrophobic Forces,” Advanced Materials (2018). DOI: 10.1002/adma.201707077

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