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Title: Understanding the Role of Solvation Forces on the Preferential Attachment of Nanoparticles in Liquid

We discuss optimization of colloidal nanoparticle synthesis techniques, which requires an understanding of underlying particle growth mechanisms. Nonclassical growth mechanisms are particularly important as they affect nanoparticle size and shape distributions, which in turn influence functional properties. For example, preferential attachment of nanoparticles is known to lead to the formation of mesocrystals, although the formation mechanism is currently not well-understood. Here we employ in situ liquid cell scanning transmission electron microscopy and steered molecular dynamics (SMD) simulations to demonstrate that the experimentally observed preference for end-to-end attachment of silver nanorods is a result of weaker solvation forces occurring at rod ends. In conclusion, SMD reveals that when the side of a nanorod approaches another rod, perturbation in the surface-bound water at the nanorod surface creates significant energy barriers to attachment. Additionally, rod morphology (i.e., facet shape) effects can explain the majority of the side attachment effects that are observed experimentally.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)
  2. Florida State Univ., Tallahassee, FL (United States)
  3. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Environmental Molecular Sciences Lab. (EMSL)
  4. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Fundamental Computational Sciences Directorate
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
FG02-03ER46057; AC05- 76RL01830; NSF-1334012
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
ACS Nano
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 10; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1936-0851
American Chemical Society
Research Org:
Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States); Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Environmental Molecular Sciences Lab. (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; molecular dynamics; in situ microscopy; nanoparticles; attachment
OSTI Identifier: