Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Colloidal crystals

Plenty of room at the top

Binary mixtures of nanoparticles of different size and composition can self-assemble in a bewildering variety of lattices. This defies expectations and shows promise for the modular self-assembly of nano-sized building blocks into three-dimensional devices.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: New crystal structures.


  1. 1

    Shevchenko, E. V., Talapin, D. V., Kotov, N. A., O'Brien, S. & Murray, C. B. Nature 439, 55–59 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Wood, W. W. & Jacobson, J. D. J. Chem. Phys. 27, 1207 (1957).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Alder, B. J. & Wainwright, T. E. J. Chem. Phys. 27, 1208 (1957).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Pusey, P. N. & van Megen, W. Nature 320, 340–342 (1986).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Bartlett, P., Ottewill, R. H. & Pusey, P. N. Phys. Rev. Lett. 68, 3801–3804 (1992).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Eldridge, M. D., Madden, P. A. & Frenkel, D. Nature 365, 35–37 (1993).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Sanders, J. V. & Murray, M. J. Nature 275, 201–203 (1978).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Leunissen, M. E. et al. Nature 437, 235–240 (2005).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Seeman, N. C. Nature 421, 427–431 (2003).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Frenkel, D. Plenty of room at the top. Nature Mater 5, 85–86 (2006).

Download citation

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing