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: Using solar energy to turn raw materials into ingredients for everyday life

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

Twisted graphene chills out

19 hours ago

(Phys.org) —When two sheets of graphene are stacked in a special way, it is possible to cool down the graphene with a laser instead of heating it up, University of Manchester researchers have shown.

Researchers use liquid inks to create better solar cells

19 hours ago

(Phys.org) —The basic function of solar cells is to harvest sunlight and turn it into electricity. Thus, it is critically important that the film that collects the light on the surface of the cell is designed ...

User comments : 0