Here we point out that the nanocrystals well ordered in compact hexagonal networks are highly stable compared to the same nanocrystals either isolated on a substrate or ordered in a less compact manner. The emergence of unexpected collective physical intrinsic properties results in the nanocrystals being ordered over a long distance in colloidal crystals called supracrystals. Some morphologies of nanocrystals ordered, at the micrometer scale, in 3D superlattices called supracrystals are similar to those obtained with atoms in nanocrystals. From a comparison between vibrational and magnetic properties of supracrystals and aggregates composed of the same nanocrystals, it is proposed that nanocrystals in a supracrystal could behave as atoms in a nanocrystal. From these data a possible analogy between nanocrystals in a supracrystal and atoms in nanocrystals is proposed.
Source : Self-organization of inorganic nanocrystals: Unexpected chemical and physical properties. M.P.Pileni Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 2012, 388 , 1–8.