Three-Dimensionally Ordered Magnetic Nanocrystal/Silica Composite Thin Films Synthesized Via Sol–Gel Self-Assembly

Samantha Schmitt, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering, University of New Mexico/NSFCenter for Micro-Engineered Materials, Albuquerque, NM 87131

Nanocrystals and their ordered arrays hold many important applications in fields such as catalysis, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy based sensors, memory storage, and electronic and optical nanodevices. Herein, a simple and general method to synthesize ordered, three-dimensional, transparent FePt nanocrystal/silica superlattice thin films by self-assembly of FePt nanocrystals micelles with silica by spin-coating is reported. The self-assembly process is conducted under acidic sol–gel conditions (ca. pH2), ensuring spin-solution homogeneity and stability and facilitating the formation of ordered and transparent FePt nanocrystal/silica films. The monodisperse nanocrystals are organized within inorganic host matrices as a cubic mesostructure characterized by transmission electron spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction.

Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, for the United States Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.