Complexity In Nanocrystal Self-Assembly: Size Mixing, Rods, Disks, Triangles, and Multiple Length Scales

Brian A. Korgel, University of Texas at Austin, Department of Chemical Engineering, Austin, TX 78712

Advances in nanomaterials synthesis have enabled a variety of size and shape monodisperse nanocrystals with characteristic dimension of ~10 nm and less to be obtained. These nanocrystals are excellent models for studying self-assembly since they readily disperse in a variety of solvents and are too small to be affected to gravitational settling. These nanocrystals have been observed to self-assemble into a wide range of different ordered structures, depending on the nanocrystal size, shape, and assembly process. Many of the fundamental forces that drive these self-assembly processes are known, however, experimental studies continue to surprise with many observations of unexpected complexity. This presentation will detail the fundamental underpinnings of nanocrystal self-assembly and will present a range of some surprising examples of self-assembly, including breath-figure templated inverse opals of nanocrystals, aligned nanorod "stripes", mixed monolayers of spherical and rod-shaped nanocrystals, and ordered arrays of triangular nanocrystals.