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Impact Dynamics of Colloidal Quantum Dot Solids

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journal contribution
posted on 18.10.2011, 00:00 by Lejun Qi, Peter H. McMurry, David J. Norris, Steven L. Girshick
We use aerosol techniques to investigate the cohesive and granular properties of solids composed of colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals (quantum dot solids). We form spherical agglomerates of nanocrystals with a nebulizer and direct them toward a carbon substrate at low (∼0.01 m/s) or high (∼100 m/s) velocities. We then study the morphology of the deposit (i.e., the “splat”) after impact. By varying the size of the agglomerate and the spacing between the nanocrystals within it, we observe influences on the mechanical properties of the quantum dot solid. We observe a liquid-to-solid transition as the nanocrystals become more densely packed. Agglomerates with weakly interacting nanocrystals exhibit liquidlike splashing and coalescence of overlapping splats. More dense agglomerates exhibit arching and thickening effects, which is behavior typical of granular materials.