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Research Highlight | Center for Nanoscale Materials

Assembly of chiral nanoparticle superlattices

In a paper appearing in Nature, researchers report the self-assembly of perovskite-like superlattices from nanoscale tetrahedra on a silicon wafer.

Scientific Achievement

Perovskite-like, corner-sharing superlattices with ultralow-packing density are self-assembled from nanoscale tetrahedra on a silicon wafer. Variable corner-to-edge connections among tetrahedra enable fine-tuning of chirality.

Significance and Impact

The unique topology and physics of chiral superlattices make their self-assembly from nanoparticles highly sought after yet challenging. These findings will aid in the design of metasurfaces with substrate-induced chiroptical activity.

Research Details

  • The chiroptical properties of these superlattices are demonstrated by their optical activity measured using photon-induced near-field electron microscopy in an ultrafast electron microscope.
  • Liquid-phase transmission electron microscopy and computational models show that van der Waals and electrostatic interactions between nanoparticles control thermodynamic equilibrium.

Work was performed in part at the Center for Nanoscale Materials, a DOE Office of Science User Facility.


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About Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials
The Center for Nanoscale Materials is one of the five DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers, premier national user facilities for interdisciplinary research at the nanoscale supported by the DOE Office of Science. Together the NSRCs comprise a suite of complementary facilities that provide researchers with state-of-the-art capabilities to fabricate, process, characterize and model nanoscale materials, and constitute the largest infrastructure investment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The NSRCs are located at DOE’s Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Oak Ridge, Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories. For more information about the DOE NSRCs, please visit https://​sci​ence​.osti​.gov/​U​s​e​r​-​F​a​c​i​l​i​t​i​e​s​/​U​s​e​r​-​F​a​c​i​l​i​t​i​e​s​-​a​t​-​a​-​G​lance.