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Title: Formation pathways of mesoporous silica nanoparticles with dodecagonal tiling

Considerable progress in the fabrication of quasicrystals demonstrates that they can be realized in a broad range of materials. However, the development of chemistries enabling direct experimental observation of early quasicrystal growth pathways remains challenging. Here, we report the synthesis of four surfactant-directed mesoporous silica nanoparticle structures, including dodecagonal quasicrystalline nanoparticles, as a function of micelle pore expander concentration or stirring rate. We demonstrate that the early formation stages of dodecagonal quasicrystalline mesoporous silica nanoparticles can be preserved, where precise control of mesoporous silica nanoparticle size down to <30 nm facilitates comparison between mesoporous silica nanoparticles and simulated single-particle growth trajectories beginning with a single tiling unit. Our results reveal details of the building block size distributions during early growth and how they promote quasicrystal formation. This work identifies simple synthetic parameters, such as stirring rate, that may be exploited to design other quasicrystal-forming self-assembly chemistries and processes.
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  1. Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States). Department of Materials Science and Engineering
  2. Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States). School of Applied and Engineering Physics
  3. Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States). School of Applied and Engineering Physics; Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science, Ithaca, NY (United States)
  4. Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States). Department of Physics
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; Materials chemistry; molecular self-assembly; nanoparticles; synthesis and processing
OSTI Identifier: