Discovered how to crystalize 3-D crystals of nanoparticles (NPs) rapidly with trace precipitants and confirmed nuclei formation in dilute solutions.
Significance and Impact
The ability to fabricate 3-D NP crystals by adding trace polymeric precipitants opens a new path to change the phase behavior of nanomaterials.
- Addition of trace polymers with poor solubility can induce formation of nanoparticle small clusters that act as nuclei to crystalize nanoparticles in dilute solutions;
- NP crystallization depends on polymeric additive loading, solvent evaporation rate, polymer-grafted NP size and nucleation sites.
- The location of individual NPs in 3-D crystals reflects a balance of weak cohesive energy and short-range diffusivity of NPs