- Fan, H. Y. and Yang, K. and Boye, D. M. and Sigmon, T. and Malloy, K. J. and Xu, H. F. and Lopez, G. P. and Brinker, C. J., Self-assembly of ordered, robust, three-dimensional gold nanocrystal/silica arrays,
SCIENCE, vol. 304 no. 5670
pp. 567--571 .
(last updated on 2010/02/08)
We report the synthesis of a new nanocrystal (NC) mesophase through self-assembly of water-soluble NC micelles with soluble silica. The mesophase comprises gold nanocrystals arranged within a silica matrix in a face-centered cubic lattice with cell dimensions that are adjustable through control of the nanocrystal diameter and/or the alkane chain lengths of the primary alkanethiol stabilizing ligands or the surrounding secondary surfactants. Under kinetically controlled silica polymerization conditions, evaporation drives self-assembly of NC micelles into ordered NC/silica thin-film mesophases during spin coating. The intermediate NC micelles are water soluble and of interest for biolabeling. Initial experiments on a metal-insulator-metal capacitor fabricated with an ordered three-dimensional gold nanocrystal/silica array as the ``insulator'' demonstrated collective Coulomb blockade behavior below 100 kelvin and established the current-voltage scaling relationship for a well-defined three-dimensional array of Coulomb islands.