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Issue 42, 2011
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Dewetting of Au nanoparticle assemblies

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Atomic force microscopy measurements as a function of annealing temperature, time of exposure to a high relative humidity environment, and scan duration/parameters have been used to ascertain the stability of assemblies of thiol-passivated Au nanoparticles on silicon substrates. Striking changes in the morphology of self-organised nanoparticle patterns are observed following the exposure of samples to atmospheres with a relative humidity of 80%. The nanoparticle film dewets the underlying silicon substrate on exposure to water, forming locally thicker regions. Time-lapse imaging shows that the dewetting proceeds via layer-by-layer growth, and there is no evidence for classical coarsening mechanisms involving self-similar film morphologies. Annealing at temperatures between 100 °C and 160 °C produces a rather different dewetting effect for the highest temperatures and/or annealing times, where significant nanoparticle sintering promotes the break-up of the two-dimensional assembly. The morphology of the initial 2D film plays a key role in determining the time scale on which annealing promotes nanoparticle dewetting. Dewetting can also be induced by a scanning probe such that localised (micron-scale) areas of the nanoparticle assembly can be converted from 2D to 3D character.

Graphical abstract: Dewetting of Au nanoparticle assemblies

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Article information

17 May 2011
31 Aug 2011
First published
28 Sep 2011

J. Mater. Chem., 2011,21, 16983-16989
Article type

Dewetting of Au nanoparticle assemblies

H. Alhummiany, S. Jarvis, R. A. J. Woolley, A. Stannard, M. Blunt and P. Moriarty, J. Mater. Chem., 2011, 21, 16983
DOI: 10.1039/C1JM12182K

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