Self-Assembly of a Two-Dimensional Superlattice of Molecularly Linked Metal Clusters

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Science  20 Sep 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5282, pp. 1690-1693
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5282.1690


Close-packed planar arrays of nanometer-diameter metal clusters that are covalently linked to each other by rigid, double-ended organic molecules have been self-assembled. Gold nanocrystals, each encapsulated by a monolayer of alkyl thiol molecules, were cast froma colloidal solution onto a flat substrate to form a close-packed cluster monolayer. Organic interconnects (aryl dithiols or aryl di-isonitriles) displaced the alkyl thiol molecules and covalently linked adjacent clusters in the monolayer to form a two-dimensional superlattice of metal quantum dots coupled by uniform tunnel junctions. Electrical conductance through such a superlattice of 3.7-nanometer-diameter gold clusters, deposited on a SiO2 substrate in the gap between two gold contacts and linked by an aryl di-isonitrile [1,4-di(4-isocyanophenylethynyl)-2-ethylbenzene], exhibited nonlinear Coulomb charging behavior.