Highlight: Quasi-Crystalline Order at Nanoscale

Jan 11, 2010
TEM showing the two-dimensional dodecagonal quasi-crystalline structure self-assembled from 5-nm Au and 13.4-nm Fe3O4 nanoparticles.

Nanoparticles have a strong tendency to form periodic structures. Mixing and matching of two different types of nanoparticles allows the formation of binary nanoparticle superlattices isostructural to ionic or intermetallic compounds. In addition to periodic superlattices, binary mixtures of nearly spherical nanoparticles could lead to the growth of quasi-crystals.

CNM staff in the Nanobio Interfaces Group, together with colleagues from the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania, have found that two-dimensional dodecagonal quasi-crystals can be formed in mixtures of 3-nm Pd and 9-nm PbS, 5-nm Au and 13.4-nm Fe2O3, and 4.7-nm Au and 12.6-nm Fe3O4 .

Studies of of quasi-crystalline nanoparticle superstructures will provide insight into the formation of the quasi-crystalline phase in atomic systems. The assembly of the dodecagonal quasi-crystalline phase from different nanoparticle combinations shows that quasi-crystalline ordering can be a quite common phenomenon in nanocrystal solids.

Explore further: Making graphene in your kitchen

More information: "Quasi-crystalline order in self-assembled binary nanoparticle superlattices," D. V. Talapin, E. V. Shevchenko, M. I. Bodnarchuk, X. Ye, J. Chen, and C. B. Murray, Nature 461, 964-967 (15 October 2009), doi:10.1038/nature08439

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

When Nano May Not Be Nano

Sep 13, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- The same properties of nanoparticles that make them so appealing to manufacturers may also have negative effects on the environment and human health. However, little is known which particles ...

Shape matters in the case of cobalt nanoparticles

Jun 17, 2009

Shape is turning out to be a particularly important feature of some commercially important nanoparticles—but in subtle ways. New studies* by scientists at the National Institute for Standards and Technology ...

Recommended for you

Making graphene in your kitchen

9 hours ago

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.

Thinnest feasible nano-membrane produced

Apr 17, 2014

A new nano-membrane made out of the 'super material' graphene is extremely light and breathable. Not only can this open the door to a new generation of functional waterproof clothing, but also to ultra-rapid filtration. The ...

Wiring up carbon-based electronics

Apr 17, 2014

Carbon-based nanostructures such as nanotubes, graphene sheets, and nanoribbons are unique building blocks showing versatile nanomechanical and nanoelectronic properties. These materials which are ordered ...

Making 'bucky-balls' in spin-out's sights

Apr 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —A new Oxford spin-out firm is targeting the difficult challenge of manufacturing fullerenes, known as 'bucky-balls' because of their spherical shape, a type of carbon nanomaterial which, like ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.