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Coerced Mechanical Coarsening of Nanoparticle Assemblies

Blunt, MO; Martin, CP; Ahola-Tuomi, M; Pauliac-Vaujour, E; Sharp, Peter; Nativo, P; Brust, M; Nativo, P


MO Blunt

CP Martin

M Ahola-Tuomi

E Pauliac-Vaujour

Peter Sharp

P Nativo

M Brust

P Nativo


Coarsening is a ubiquitous phenomenon [1-3] that underpins countless processes in nature, including epitaxial growth [1,3,4], the phase separation of alloys, polymers and binary fluids [2], the growth of bubbles in foams5, and pattern formation in biomembranes6. Here we show, in the first real-time experimental study of the evolution of an adsorbed colloidal nanoparticle array, that tapping-mode atomic force microscopy (TM-AFM) can drive the coarsening of Au nanoparticle assemblies on silicon surfaces. Although the growth exponent has a strong dependence on the initial sample morphology, our observations are largely consistent with modified Ostwald ripening processes [7-9]. To date, ripening processes have been exclusively considered to be thermally activated, but we show that nanoparticle assemblies can be mechanically coerced towards equilibrium, representing a new approach to directed coarsening. This strategy enables precise control over the evolution of micro- and nanostructures.


Blunt, M., Martin, C., Ahola-Tuomi, M., Pauliac-Vaujour, E., Sharp, P., Nativo, P., …Nativo, P. (2007). Coerced Mechanical Coarsening of Nanoparticle Assemblies. Nature Nanotechnology, 2, doi:10.1038/nnano.2007.25

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 1, 2007
Deposit Date May 19, 2008
Publicly Available Date May 19, 2008
Journal Nature Nanotechnology
Print ISSN 1748-3387
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Keywords nanoparticles; self-assembly; self-organisation; coarsening; ripening; growth;
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