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Nano Lett. 2007 Sep;7(9):2931-6. Epub 2007 Aug 22.

Dipolar structures in colloidal dispersions of PbSe and CdSe quantum dots.

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Van 't Hoff Laboratory for Physical and Colloid Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Utrecht University, Padualaan 8, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands.


We show by cryogenic transmission electron microscopy that PbSe and CdSe nanocrystals of various shapes in a liquid colloidal dispersion self-assemble into equilibrium structures that have a pronounced dipolar character, to an extent that depends on particle concentration and size. Analyzing the cluster-size distributions with a one-dimensional (1D) aggregation model yields a dipolar pair attraction of 8-10 kBT at room temperature. This accounts for the long-range alignment of the crystal planes of individual nanocrystals in self-assembled superstructures and for anisotropic nanostructures grown via oriented attachment.

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