Gold Nanoparticle Superlattice Crystallization Probed InSitu
The nucleation and growth of three-dimensional superlattices of gold nanoparticles has been followed directly in situ by means of small angle x-ray scattering. These assemblies spontaneously form in a dilute solution providing the particles are large enough to generate a van der Waals driven attraction sufficient to counterbalance the thermal energy. The superlattices nucleate very soon after the birth of the individual particles and their growth kinetics is slower than predicted by a mechanism of simple diffusion of the nanoparticles towards the superlattices. The superlattices are first limited in size (170 nm in diameter) and have a globular shape with a low polydispersity. They present a fcc inner structure with nanoparticles being separated by a capping agent bilayer yielding a low gold internal volume fraction (ϕSL=0.33). In a second stage, these superlattices coalesce with time.
Physical Review Letters
- Pub Date:
- March 2008
- Nanocrystalline materials;