Dahin Kim, Whi Dong Kim, Moon Sung Kang, Shin-Hyun Kim and Doh C. Lee, "Self-organization of nanorods into ultra-long range two-dimensional monolayer end-to-end network," Nano Letters, accepted for publication (2014). (Co-corresponding author) [pdf]
Highly uniform large-scale assembly of nanoscale building blocks can enable unique collective properties for practical electronic and photonic devices. We present a 2-dimensional (2-D), millimeter-scale network of colloidal CdSe nanorods (NRs) in monolayer thickness through end-to-end linking. The colloidal CdSe NRs are sterically stabilized with tetradecylphosphonic acid (TDPA) and their tips are partially etched in the presence of gold chloride (AuCl3) and didecyldimethylammonium bromide (DDAB), which make them unwetted in toluene. This change in surface wetting property leads to spontaneous adsorption at the 2-D air/toluene interface. Anisotropy in both the geometry and the surface property of the CdSe NRs causes deformation of the NR/toluene/air interface, which derives capillary attraction between tips of neighboring NRs inward. As a result, the NRs confined at the interface spontaneously form a 2-D network composed of end-to-end linkages. We employ a vertical-deposition approach to maintain a consistent rate of NR supply to the interface during the assembly. The rate control turns out to be pivotal in the preparation of a highly uniform large scale 2-D network without aggregation. In addition, unprecedented control of the NR density in the network was possible by adjusting either the lift-up speed of the immersed substrate or the relative concentration of AuCl3 to DDAB. Our findings provide important design criteria for 2-D assembly of anisotropic nanobuilding blocks.
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