A recent development in the study of nanocrystalline materials has been the self-assembly of passivated nanometer scale building blocks into larger, well ordered structures reaching the micron scale. Nanocrystal supercrystals (NCS) have been observed in metallic, semiconductor, and magnetic materials. In most cases the nanocrystals (NXs) are encapsulated in some inert medium that effectively protects the nanocrystal core and its unique electronic and optical properties. Here we describe the self-assembly of gold nanocrystals (∼4.5 nm core diameter), passivated with hexanethiol self-assembled-monolayers into ordered regions exhibiting a body-centered-cubic (bcc) superstructure. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) imaging and Electron Diffraction (ED) experiments were used to characterize the NCSs and their resulting superstructures.
A large agglomeration of NCSs can be seen in figure 1. One can clearly see regions of periodicity within the nanocrystal aggregation.