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Pure Appl. Chem., 2009, Vol. 81, No. 12, pp. 2225-2233

Published online 2009-11-03

From supramolecular chemistry to nanotechnology: Assembly of 3D nanostructures*

Xing Yi Ling*, David N. Reinhoudt and Jurriaan Huskens

Molecular Nanofabrication Group, MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands

Abstract: Fabricating well-defined and stable nanoparticle crystals in a controlled fashion receives growing attention in nanotechnology. The order and packing symmetry within a nanoparticle crystal is of utmost importance for the development of materials with unique optical and electronic properties. To generate stable and ordered 3D nanoparticle structures, nanotechnology is combined with supramolecular chemistry to control the self-assembly of 2D and 3D receptor-functionalized nanoparticles. This review focuses on the use of molecular recognition chemistry to establish stable, ordered, and functional nanoparticle structures. The host–guest complexation of β-cyclodextrin (CD) and its guest molecules (e.g., adamantane and ferrocene) are applied to assist the nanoparticle assembly. Direct adsorption of supramolecular guest- and host-functionalized nanoparticles onto (patterned) CD self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) occurs via multivalent host–guest interactions and layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly. The reversibility and fine-tuning of the nanoparticle-surface binding strength in this supramolecular assembly scheme are the control parameters in the process. Furthermore, the supramolecular nanoparticle assembly has been integrated with top-down nanofabrication schemes to generate stable and ordered 3D nanoparticle structures, with controlled geometries and sizes, on surfaces, other interfaces, and as free-standing structures.
*Pure Appl. Chem. 81, 2157-2251 (2009). A collection of invited, peer-reviewed articles by the winners of the 2009 IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists.