The functionalization of nanodiamonds (diamondoids) as a key parameter of their easily controlled self-assembly in micro- and nanocrystals from the vapor phase†
We detail herein readily accessible processes to control previously unobserved robust self-assemblies of nanodiamonds (diamondoids) in micro- and nanocrystals from their mild vapor deposition. The chemical functionalization of uniform and discernible nanodiamonds was found to be a key parameter, and depending on the type of functional group (hydroxy, fluorine, etc.) and its position on the diamondoid, the structure of the discrete deposits can vary dramatically. Thus, well-defined anisotropic structures such as rod, needle, triangle or truncated octahedron shapes can be obtained, and self-assembled edifices of sizes ranging from 20 nm to several hundred micrometers formed with conservation of a similar structure for a given diamondoid. Key thermodynamic data including sublimation enthalpy of diamondoid derivatives are reported, and the SEM of the self-assemblies coupled with EDX analyses and XRD attest the nature and purity of nanodiamond crystal deposits. This attractive method is simple and outperforms in terms of deposit quality dip-coating methods we used. This vapor phase deposition approach is expected to allow for an easy formation of diamondoid nanoobjects on different types of substrates.