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Issue 7, 2014
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Self-assembly of colloidal one-dimensional nanocrystals

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The ability of nanoscopic materials to self-organize into large-scale assembly structures that exhibit unique collective properties has opened up new and exciting opportunities in the field of nanotechnology. Although earlier work on nanoscale self-assembly has focused on colloidal spherical nanocrystals as building blocks, there has been significant interest in recent years in the self-assembly of colloidal nanocrystals having well-defined facets or anisotropic shapes. In this review, particular attention is drawn to anisotropic one-dimensional (1D) nanocrystals, notably nanorods and nanowires, which can be arranged into a multitude of higher-order assembly structures. Different strategies have been developed to realize self-assembly of colloidal 1D nanocrystals and these are highlighted in the first part of this review. Self-assembly can take place (1) on substrates through evaporation control, external field facilitation and template use; (2) at interfaces, such as the liquid–liquid and the gas–liquid interface; and (3) in solutions via chemical bonding, depletion attraction forces and linker-mediated interactions. The choice of a self-assembly approach is pivotal to achieving the desired assembly configuration with properties that can be exploited for functional device applications. In the subsequent sections, the various assembly structures that have been created through 1D nanocrystal self-assembly are presented. These organized structures are broadly categorized into non-close-packed and close-packed configurations, and are further classified based on the different types of 1D nanocrystal alignment (side-by-side and end-to-end), orientation (horizontal and vertical) and ordering (nematic and smectic), and depending on the dimensionality of the structure (2D and 3D). The conditions under which different types of arrangements are achieved are also discussed.

Graphical abstract: Self-assembly of colloidal one-dimensional nanocrystals

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Publication details

The article was received on 04 Nov 2013 and first published on 13 Jan 2014

Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C3CS60397K
Citation: Chem. Soc. Rev., 2014,43, 2301-2323
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    Self-assembly of colloidal one-dimensional nanocrystals

    S. Zhang, M. D. Regulacio and M. Han, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2014, 43, 2301
    DOI: 10.1039/C3CS60397K

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