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Adv Colloid Interface Sci. 2006 Sep 25;122(1-3):119-47. Epub 2006 Aug 1.

Effects of organic ligands, electrostatic and magnetic interactions in formation of colloidal and interfacial inorganic nanostructures.

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  • 1Faculty of Physics, Moscow State University, 119992 Moscow, Russia.


This paper discusses effects of organic ligands, electrostatic and magnetic interactions involved in morphological control of chemically synthesized inorganic nanostructures including colloid and planar systems. The special attention was concentrated on noble metal (gold and palladium) nanoparticles and nanostructures formed at the gas-liquid interface. The analysis of experimental data showed that electrostatic and ligand-related interactions influence very strongly on the metal nanostructure morphology. The hydrophobicity of ligand, charge and binding affinity to inorganic phase are important factors influencing the morphology of inorganic nanostructures formed in a layer at the gas/liquid interface by the interfacial synthesis method. The important point of this method is the quasi two-dimensional character of reaction area and possibilities to realize ultimately thin and anisotropic dynamic monomolecular reaction system with two-dimensional diffusion and interactions of precursors, intermediates and ligands resulting in planar growth and organization of inorganic nanoparticles and nanostructures in the plain of Langmuir monolayer. The morphology of resulting inorganic nanostructures can be controlled efficiently by variations of growth conditions via changes in state and composition of interfacial planar reaction media with the same precursor, and by variations of composition of adjacent bulk phases. The extreme anisotropy and heterogeneity of two-dimensional interfacial reaction system allows creating conditions when growing inorganic particles floating on the aqueous phase surface interact selectively with hydrophobic water-insoluble ligands in interfacial monolayer or with hydrophilic bulk-phase ligands, or at the same time with ligands of different nature present in monolayer and in aqueous phase. The spatial anisotropy of interfacial reaction system and non-homogeneity of ligand binding to inorganic phase gives possibilities for growth of integrated anisotropic nanostructures with unique morphologies, in particularly those characterized by very high surface/volume ratio, high effective perimeter, and labyrinth-like structure. In a case of magnetic nanoparticles dispersed in colloids specific magnetic dipolar interactions can result in formation of chains, rings and more complex nanoparticulate structures or separated highly anisotropic nanoparticles. Theoretical considerations indicate to the importance of system dimensionality in relation to the energy balance which determines specific features of structure organization in planar charged metallic and magnetic nanostructures. For example, a requirement of Coulomb energy minimum, the possibility of free electron redistribution and strengthened attractive interactions between particles in metallic nanostructures can explain formation of very branchy systems with extremely high "effective perimeter". The obtained experimental and literature data show that system dimensionality, organic ligand nature along with electrostatic and magnetic interactions are most important factors of morphological control of chemically synthesized inorganic nanomaterials. The understanding and appropriate exploitation of these factors can be useful for further developments of efficient nanofabrication techniques based on colloidal and interfacial synthetic methods.

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