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Nat Mater. 2016 Feb;15(2):141-53. doi: 10.1038/nmat4526.

The surface science of nanocrystals.

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University of Chicago and James Franck Institute, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.
Center for Nanoparticle Research, Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Seoul 151-742, Korea.
School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea.
Institute of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University, 866 Yuhangtang Road, Hangzhou 310058, China.
Center for Nanoscale Materials, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439, USA.


All nanomaterials share a common feature of large surface-to-volume ratio, making their surfaces the dominant player in many physical and chemical processes. Surface ligands - molecules that bind to the surface - are an essential component of nanomaterial synthesis, processing and application. Understanding the structure and properties of nanoscale interfaces requires an intricate mix of concepts and techniques borrowed from surface science and coordination chemistry. Our Review elaborates these connections and discusses the bonding, electronic structure and chemical transformations at nanomaterial surfaces. We specifically focus on the role of surface ligands in tuning and rationally designing properties of functional nanomaterials. Given their importance for biomedical (imaging, diagnostics and therapeutics) and optoelectronic (light-emitting devices, transistors, solar cells) applications, we end with an assessment of application-targeted surface engineering.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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