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Nat Mater. 2005 May;4(5):395-8. Epub 2005 Apr 17.

Vibrational coherence of self-organized silver nanocrystals in f.c.c. supra-crystals.

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Laboratoire des Matériaux Mésoscopiques et Nanométriques, UMR CNRS 7070, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, BP 52, 4 place Jussieu, 75252 Paris Cedex 05, France.


Fabrication of devices from inorganic nanocrystals normally requires that they are self-organized into ordered structures. It has now been demonstrated that nanocrystals are able to self-organize in a 'supra'-crystal with a face-centred cubic (f.c.c.) structure. The physical properties of nanocrystals self-organized into compact arrays are quite different from those of both isolated nanocrystals and the bulk phase. The collective optical and magnetic properties of these nanocrystal assemblies are governed mainly by dipolar interactions. Here, we show that nanocrystals vibrate coherently when they are self-organized in f.c.c. supra-crystals. Hence, a phase relation exists between the vibrations of all of the nanocrystals in a supra-crystal. This vibrational coherence can be observed by a substantial change of the quadrupolar low-frequency Raman scattering peak. Although a change in electronic transport properties has previously been observed on self-organization of silver nanocrystals, vibrational coherence represents the first intrinsic property of f.c.c. supra-crystals.


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