Article abstract

Nature Nanotechnology 3, 682 - 690 (2008)
Published online: 28 September 2008 | doi:10.1038/nnano.2008.279

Subject terms: Nanoparticles | Surface patterning and imaging

Nanopatterning self-assembled nanoparticle superlattices by moulding microdroplets

Wenlong Cheng1, Nokyoung Park1, M. Todd Walter1, Mark R. Hartman1 & Dan Luo1

Highly ordered arrays of nanoparticles exhibit many properties that are not found in their disordered counterparts. However, these nanoparticle superlattices usually form in a far-from-equilibrium dewetting process, which precludes the use of conventional patterning methods owing to a lack of control over the local dewetting dynamics. Here, we report a simple yet efficient approach for patterning such superlattices that involves moulding microdroplets containing the nanoparticles and spatially regulating their dewetting process. This approach can provide rational control over the local nucleation and growth of the nanoparticle superlattices. Using DNA-capped gold nanoparticles as a model system, we have patterned nanoparticle superlattices over large areas into a number of versatile structures with high degrees of internal order, including single-particle-width corrals, single-particle-thickness microdiscs and submicrometre-sized ‘supra-crystals’. Remarkably, these features could be addressed by micropatterned electrode arrays, suggesting potential applications in bottom-up nanodevices.

  1. Department of Biological & Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA

Correspondence to: Dan Luo1 e-mail:


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