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Modular Design of Ordered Polymer-Nanoparticle Composites

Modular-Design-of-Ordered-Polymer-Nanoparticle-Composites (a) Schematic illustration of nanocrystals end-grafted with polymer brushes. (b) Scaling relations of ligand shell thickness and ligand volume fraction as a function of polymer molecular weight. (c) Schematic and (d) TEM image of AB-type binary superlattices.

Scientific Achievement
Created a diverse array of self-assembled binary superlattices using polymer-grafted nanocrystals as the colloidal building blocks.

Significance and Impact
This study should open up new and exciting opportunities for the bottom-up design of functional inorganic -organic hybrid materials with controlled nanoscale interfaces and mesoscale ordering.

Research Details

  • The 'grafting-to' method allows for independent optimization of nanocrystals and polymeric ligands.
  • 10 distinct types of 2D and 3D binary superlattice structures can be accessed.

Ye, X., Zhu, C., Ercius, P., Raja, S.N., He, B., Jones, M.R., Hauwiller, M.R., Liu, Y., Xu, T., Alivisatos, A.P., “Structural diversity in binary superlattices self-assembled from polymer-grafted nanocrystals”, Nat. Commun. 6:10052 (2015) doi: 10.1038/ncomms10052