PerspectiveNANOTECHNOLOGY

Reactive polymers guide nanoparticle clustering

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Science  11 Sep 2020:
Vol. 369, Issue 6509, pp. 1305-1306
DOI: 10.1126/science.abd8183

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Summary

From the early days of nanoparticle synthesis, researchers understood the need for adaptable methods that coordinated particles in clusters with precise nanoarchitecture. The similarity between the building of nanoscale clusters from particles and the formation of molecules from atoms goes beyond a structural analogy. As with molecules, which demonstrate properties not found in atoms, clusters exhibit synergistic functional responses beyond the properties of individual nanoparticles (13). For atomic systems, the formation of molecules is rationalized by orbital hybridization principles. Because this concept is not suitable for nanoparticles, scientists have explored other particle-assembly methods. On page 1369 of this issue, Yi et al. (4) describe a high-yield method for the assembly of targeted nanoparticle clusters.

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