Nanosized Blocks Self-Assemble In Water To Create Tiny Floating Checkerboards (UC San Diego, Duke)


A technical paper titled “Self-assembly of nanocrystal checkerboard patterns via non-specific interactions” was published by researchers at the University of California San Diego and Duke University.


“Checkerboard lattices—where the resulting structure is open, porous, and highly symmetric—are difficult to create by self-assembly. Synthetic systems that adopt such structures typically rely on shape complementarity and site-specific chemical interactions that are only available to biomolecular systems (e.g., protein, DNA). Here we show the assembly of checkerboard lattices from colloidal nanocrystals that harness the effects of multiple, coupled physical forces at disparate length scales (interfacial, interparticle, and intermolecular) and that do not rely on chemical binding. Colloidal Ag nanocubes were bi-functionalized with mixtures of hydrophilic and hydrophobic surface ligands and subsequently assembled at an air–water interface. Using feedback between molecular dynamics simulations and interfacial assembly experiments, we achieve a periodic checkerboard mesostructure that represents a tiny fraction of the phase space associated with the polymer-grafted nanocrystals used in these experiments. In a broader context, this work expands our knowledge of non-specific nanocrystal interactions and presents a computation-guided strategy for designing self-assembling materials.”

Find the technical paper here. Published May 2024. Read this related news article from UC San Diego.

Wang, Y., Zhou, Y., Yang, Q. et al. Self-assembly of nanocrystal checkerboard patterns via non-specific interactions. Nat Commun 15, 3913 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-024-47572-2

Further Reading
Enabling Advanced Devices With Atomic Layer Processes
Tradeoff between precision and speed becomes more critical at advanced nodes.

Leave a Reply

(Note: This name will be displayed publicly)