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Pure Appl. Chem., 2002, Vol. 74, No. 9, pp. 1581-1591

Mesoscale organization of metal nanocrystals

G. U. Kulkarni, P. John Thomas and C. N. R. Rao*

Chemistry and Physics of Materials Unit, Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research, Jakkur, Bangalore 560 064, India

Abstract: Nanocrystals of metals covered by alkanethiols organize themselves in two-dimensional arrays. We discuss such arrays of metal nanocrystals at length, with focus on the dependence of the structure and the stability of the arrays on the particle diameter and the distance between the particles. Three-dimensional superstructures of metal nanocrystals obtained by the use of alkanedithiols are examined. These ordered two- and three-dimensional structures of thiolized metal nanocrystals are good examples of mesoscale self-assembly. The association of metal nanocrystals to give rise to giant clusters with magic nuclearity provides an even more graphic demonstration of mesoscale self-assembly.