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Beyond Entropy: Magnetic Forces Induce Formation of Quasicrystalline Structure in Binary Nanocrystal Superlattices

It is shown that binary superlattices of Co/Ag nanocrystals with the same size, surface coating, differing by their type of crystallinity are governed by Co− Co magnetic interactions.By using 9 nm amorphous-phase Co nanocrystals and 4 nm polycrystalline Ag nanocrystals at 25 ° C, triangle-shaped NaCl-type binary nanocrystal superlattices are produced driven by the entropic force, maximizing the packing density. By contrast, usingferromagnetic 9 nm single domain (hcp) Co nanocrystals instead of amorphous-phase Co, dodecagonal quasicrystalline order is obtained, together with less-packed phases such as the CoAg13 (NaZn13 -type), CoAg (AuCu-type), and CoAg3  (AuCu3 -type) structures. On increasing temperature to 65 ° C, 9 nm hcp  Co nanocrystals become superparamagnetic, and the system yields the CoAg3  (AuCu3 -type) and CoAg2  (AlB2 -type) structures, as observed with 9 nm amorphous Co nanocrystals. Furthermore, by decreasing the Co nanocrystal size from 9 to 7 nm, stable AlB2 -type binary nanocrystal superlattices are produced, which remain independent of the crystallinity of Co nanocrystals with the superparamagnetic state.

Source : Beyond Entropy: Magnetic Forces Induce Formation of Quasicrystalline Structure in Binary Nanocrystal Superlattices
Z.Yang, J. Wei, P. Bonville and M. P. Pileni J.Am.Chem.Soc, 2015, 137, 4487-449

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