Polymorphism in nanoparticle-based crystals depending upon their single or polycrystalline character

Abstract : Colloidal single-crystals with submillimeter size (colloidal crystal) are built by self-assembly of gold nanoparticles with nearly similar size (ca.5nm) but different nanocrystallinities. The external shape of the gold nanoparticles was characterized by electron microscopy and related to their nanocrystallinity. A synchrotron-based experiment is used to collect X-ray diffraction patterns from individual single-crystals over the wide q-range relevant to both inter-atomic and inter-particles periodicities. This makes possible a detailed reconstruction of the reciprocal space including diffuse scattering. X-ray diffraction demonstrates that colloidal crystals made of single-crystal nanoparticles belong to the body-centered cubic system while face-centered cubic single crystals are observed in case of self-assembly by polycrystalline particles; a remarkable feature is the preferential orientation of the symmetry axes of the single-crystal nanoparticles along those of the colloidal crystal; on the contrary polycrystalline nanoparticles display random orientation. These results show the importance of the nanocrystallinity for the packing behavior.
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Nicolas Goubet, P.A. Albouy, A. Thompson, M.P. Pileni. Polymorphism in nanoparticle-based crystals depending upon their single or polycrystalline character. CrystEngComm, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2016, 18 (33), pp.6166-6175. ⟨10.1039/C6CE01006G⟩. ⟨hal-01358351⟩

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