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Nano-contact microscopy of supracrystals

Sweetman, Adam; Goubet, Nicolas; Lekkas, I.; Pileni, Marie Paule; Moriarty, Philip

Authors

Adam Sweetman

Nicolas Goubet

I. Lekkas

Marie Paule Pileni

Philip Moriarty



Abstract

Background: Highly ordered three-dimensional colloidal crystals (supracrystals) comprised of 7.4 nm diameter Au nanocrystals (with a 5% size dispersion) have been imaged and analysed using a combination of scanning tunnelling microscopy and dynamic force microscopy.

Results: By exploring the evolution of both the force and tunnel current with respect to tip–sample separation, we arrive at the surprising finding that single nanocrystal resolution is readily obtained in tunnelling microscopy images acquired more than 1 nm into the repulsive (i.e., positive force) regime of the probe–nanocrystal interaction potential. Constant height force microscopy has been used to map tip–sample interactions in this regime, revealing inhomogeneities which arise from the convolution of the tip structure with the ligand distribution at the nanocrystal surface.

Conclusion: Our combined STM–AFM measurements show that the contrast mechanism underpinning high resolution imaging of nanoparticle supracrystals involves a form of nanoscale contact imaging, rather than the through-vacuum tunnelling which underpins traditional tunnelling microscopy and spectroscopy.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 29, 2015
Journal Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology
Print ISSN 2190-4286
Electronic ISSN 2190-4286
Publisher Beilstein-Institut
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
APA6 Citation Sweetman, A., Goubet, N., Lekkas, I., Pileni, M. P., & Moriarty, P. (2015). Nano-contact microscopy of supracrystals. Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology, 6, doi:10.3762/bjnano.6.126
DOI https://doi.org/10.3762/bjnano.6.126
Keywords dynamic force microscopy; nanoparticle; non-contact atomic force microscopy; point contact imaging; scanning probe microscopy; supracrystal
Publisher URL http://www.beilstein-journals.org/bjnano/single/articleFullText.htm?publicId=2190-4286-6-126
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0





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