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Particle analogs of electrons in colloidal crystals

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Science  21 Jun 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6446, pp. 1174-1178
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw8237

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Mobile particles in colloidal crystals

The crystallization of nanoparticles can be controlled by functionalizing them with DNA strands that direct assembly through hybridization. The design rules for interactions between pairs of particles resemble those for ionic compounds. Inspired by molecular dynamics simulations, Girard et al. show that larger particles (∼10 nanometers in diameter) that have mutual repulsive interactions can form a stable lattice only if much smaller conjugate particles (∼1.5 nanometers in diameter) are present. These smaller particles are mobile and diffuse through the lattice, so the bonding interaction resembles the classical picture of electrons in metals.

Science, this issue p. 1174

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