Self-Assembly of CdTe Nanocrystals into Free-Floating Sheets

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Science  13 Oct 2006:
Vol. 314, Issue 5797, pp. 274-278
DOI: 10.1126/science.1128045

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In their physical dimensions, surface chemistry, and degree of anisotropic interactions in solution, CdTe nanoparticles are similar to proteins. We experimentally observed their spontaneous, template-free organization into free-floating particulate sheets, which resemble the assembly of surface layer (S-layer) proteins. Computer simulation and concurrent experiments demonstrated that the dipole moment, small positive charge, and directional hydrophobic attraction are the driving forces for the self-organization process. The data presented here highlight the analogy of the solution behavior of the two vastly different classes of chemical structures.

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