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In Situ Quantification of Interactions between Charged Nanorods in a Predefined Potential Energy Landscape

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posted on 04.12.2020, 20:06 by Hoduk Cho, Ivan A. Moreno-Hernandez, Vida Jamali, Myoung Hwan Oh, A. Paul Alivisatos
Quantitative understanding of nanoscale interactions is a prerequisite for harnessing the remarkable collective properties of nanoparticle systems. Here, we report the combined use of liquid-phase transmission electron microscopy and electron beam lithography to elucidate the interactions between charged nanorods in a predefined potential energy landscape. In situ site-selective lift-off of surface-functionalized lithographed gold nanorods is achieved by patterning them with adhesion layer materials that undergo etching at different rates. Analysis of the subsequent nanorod motion, which is two-dimensionally confined as a result of the particle–substrate attraction, allows quantification of interparticle interactions in a lithographically engineered environment. For lithographed nanorods patterned with the same adhesion layer material, their self-assembly behavior following lift-off is tuned by changing their starting spatial arrangement. Our approach facilitates investigation of interparticle interactions in designed nanoparticle systems and affords fundamental insights into the role of the potential energy landscape in determining the kinetic pathway for nanoparticle self-assembly.