In the present work, we report the growth of ordered arrays of gold nanoparticles passivated with n-alkylthiol molecules using crystallization in toluene vapor. We kept constant the average particle size and the length of the passivating molecule (1-dodecanethiol). The temperature and time of growth were varied. We show that in the initial stages of the growth, nano-chains of particles are produced. These nano-chains aggregate to form two-dimensional arrays. In the initial stages the nano-chains form a two-dimensional square lattice which then relaxes to a close-packed structure. In latter stages of growth a three-dimensional supercrystal is produced. It is found that the packing of nanoparticles corresponds to an average FCC lattice. However, large variations on the local parameters of the lattice are observed. Near the edges of the supercrystal the anomalous packing reported by Zanchet et al.  and Fink et al.  was observed. The energy of the observed structures is analyzed using molecular dynamics simulation. It is concluded that using the vapor growth method, it is possible to produce controlled ordered structures from one to three dimensions.
Applied Physics A: Materials Science & Processing
- Pub Date:
- PACS: 61.46.+w;