Topotactic Interconversion of Nanoparticle Superlattices

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Science  22 Aug 2013:
DOI: 10.1126/science.1241402

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The directed assembly of nanoparticle building blocks is a promising method for generating sophisticated three-dimensional materials by design. In this work, we synthesized nanoparticle superlattices formed with DNA linkers that have greater complexity than simple binary systems via the process of topotactic intercalation—the insertion of a third nanoparticle component at predetermined sites within a preformed binary lattice. Five unique crystals were synthesized with this novel methodology, three of which have no equivalent in atomic or molecular crystals, demonstrating a general approach for assembling highly ordered ternary nanoparticle superlattices whose structures can be predicted prior to synthesis. Additionally, the intercalation process was demonstrated to be completely reversible; the inserted nanoparticles could be expelled into solution by raising the temperature, and the ternary superlattice could be recovered by cooling.

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