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Research Highlight | Center for Nanoscale Materials

Ligands influence nanoparticle superstructure properties

In a recent study published in Nanoscale, researchers found that above the threshold ligand coverage density, NPSLs surprisingly preserve their crystalline order even under high applied pressures and show a completely reversible pressure behavior.

Scientific Achievement

Useful structural and mechanical properties of nanoparticle superlattices (NPSLs) are shown to originate from the interplay of ligand coverage, mobility and molecular-scale dynamics in the spaces between neighboring nanoparticles.

Significance and Impact

Knowledge of the impact of ligand dynamics on behavior of NPSLs can help scientists to finely tune their electronic, optical, thermo-mechanical and magnetic properties. 

Research Details

  • Faceted NPSL analogues of atomic crystals were synthesized in a toluene solution, characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and in situ SAXS X-ray techniques, and were modeled by coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations.
  • Synthesis and microscopy of the nanoparticle superlattice and part of the computational modeling were performed at CNM. SAXS measurements were performed at APS.

Work was performed in part at the Center for Nanoscale Materials and the Advanced Photon Source.

DOI: 10.1039/c8nr09699f

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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.

About the Advanced Photon Source
This research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source, a U.S. DOE Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://​ener​gy​.gov/​s​c​ience.