peer journals

Polymorphism in nanoparticle-based crystals depending upon their single or polycrystalline character

Single-crystals with submillimeter size (colloidal crystal) are built by self-assembly of gold nanoparticles with nearly similar size (ca.5nm) but different nanocrystallinities. A synchrotron-based experiment is used to collect X-ray diffraction patterns from individual single-crystals covering a wide q-range representing the order between gold atoms and nanoparticles. This allowed a highly-detailed reconstruction of the most relevant fraction of the reciprocal space including some diffuse scattering. The external shape of the gold nanoparticles was characterized by electron microscopy and related to their nanocrystallinity. X-ray diffraction demonstrates that colloidal crystals made of single-crystal nanoparticles belong to the body-centered cubic system while face-centered cubic single crystals are observed in case of polycrystalline particles; a remarkable feature is the preferential orientation of the symmetry axes of the single-crystal nanoparticles along those of the colloidal crystal with orientation correlation within the {110} colloidal crystal planes; on the contrary polycrystalline nanoparticles display random orientation. These results show the importance of the nanocrystallinity for the packing behavior.

Source : Polymorphism in nanoparticle-based crystals depending upon their single or polycrystalline character. N.Goubet, P. A. Albouy, A. Thompson and M. P. Pileni Crystengcomm , 2016, 18, 6166-6155.

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