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Posted: Jun 21, 2017
Making functional nanoparticle assemblies through programmable stacking
(Nanowerk News) Inspired by suprabiomolecular assembly governed by stacking interactions, researchers have developed a versatile strategy to assemble nanoparticles of diverse sizes and compositions into nanoparticle pillars with tailorable internal nanoparticle configurations.
Supra-biomolecular assemblies provide a vivid illustration of structural complexity achieved through the combination of the molecule's architecture and the interactions of its different parts.
One of the broadly observed morphologies is the linear assembly of small biomolecules, which is commonly used by nature for a variety of biofunctions, including protein signaling and mechanical support and transport. Despite the linear character of this assembly, these structures exhibit a wide variety of architectures such as cylinders and tubes, flat and twisted ribbons, and others, depending on the molecular details.
In this present work, the authors explore adapting the supramolecular design principles for assembly of nanomaterials in a desired linear configuration.
By combining programmable stacking interactions and the modularity of assembled planar nanoparticle clusters, they achieve supra-nanoparticle assembly of well-defined linear, pillar-like, morphology with a tailorable structure and composition.
Detailed structural characterization using electron microscopy and X-ray scattering methods reveals that the assembled architectures are in a close correspondence with the designs, thus demonstrating the strength of this approach.
Moreover, the modularity permits the assembly of both homoand heteroparticle structures.
The proposed assembly scheme, as the researchers show, can be used for the control of optical responses of nanostructures and, potentially, in molecular electronics and energy transfer.
They used these assembled pillars to study the collective plasmon resonance for metal nanostructures, and the measured
electrical transport properties of these pillared metal nanostructures may enable their application in molecular electronics.
"Our developed assembly approach offers a general method of creating layered, pillared heterostructures with controllable linear morphology and nanoparticle configurations, and it may be used potentially for creation of future nanoparticle-based functional materials," the authors conclude.