Controlled jamming/unjamming of colloidal nanocrystal (NC) assemblies confined to a liquid–liquid interface by competitive ligand association.
Significance and Impact
Leverage control over assembly dynamics direct the formation or destruction of physical pathways for energy carriers (electrons, spin, etc) to migrate in the system.
- Colloidal NC assemblies with tunable rates of solidification are scarce, due to the difficulty of controlling the occurrence of jamming and its reversion.
- To unjam a 2D assembly of NC-polymer surfactants, a zwitterionic ligand was introduced that competes with polymer binding to the NC surface.
- The concentration of the competitive ligand dictates the rate of the 2D solid-liquid phase transformation, which can be observed at the nanoscale using in situ AFM