Guanhua Lin†‡§∥, Xi Zhu, Utkarsh Anand†‡§∥, Qi Liu†‡§∥, Jingyu Lu†‡§∥, Zainul Aabdin†‡§∥, Haibin Su*⊥, and Utkur Mirsaidov*†‡§∥

 Department of Physics, National University of Singapore, 2 Science Drive 3, Singapore 117551
 Centre for Advanced 2D Materials and Graphene Research Centre, National University of Singapore, 6 Science Drive 2, Singapore 117546
§ Centre for BioImaging Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, 14 Science Drive 4, Singapore, 117543
 NanoCore, National University of Singapore, 4 Engineering Drive 3, Singapore 117576
 School of Materials Sciences and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798

Nano Lett., Article ASAP DOI: 10.1021/ acs.nanolett.5b04323 Publication Date (Web): January 4, 2016

Soft fluidlike nanoscale objects can drive nanoparticle assembly by serving as a scaffold for nanoparticle organization. The intermediate steps in these template-directed nanoscale assemblies are important but remain unresolved. We used real-time in situ transmission electron microscopy to follow the assembly dynamics of platinum nanoparticles into flexible ringlike chains around ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid nanodroplets dispersed in solution. In solution, these nanoring assemblies form via sequential attachment of the nanoparticles to binding sites located along the circumference of the nanodroplets, followed by the rearrangement and reorientation of the attached nanoparticles. Additionally, larger nanoparticle ring assemblies form via the coalescence of smaller ring assemblies. The intermediate steps of assembly reported here reveal how fluidlike nanotemplates drive nanoparticle organization, which can aid the future design of new nanomaterials.

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Learn more about Utkur Mirsaidov’s research.