Kevin’s review paper titled “Entropic, enthalpic and kinetic aspects of interfacial nanocrystal superlattice assembly and attachment” is now available: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b04223
The directed assembly of nanoscale building blocks into complex superstructures is of widespread scientific and technological interest. Scientists and engineers have been intrigued by the prospects of tailoring self-assembly processes to create materials whose properties and function can be tuned through the interaction between constituent particles. In particular, Recent reports of epitaxially connected CQD superlattices with long-range atomic coherence have generated significant interest as a platform for novel, quasi 2D ‘designer materials’.
The coupled thermodynamic and kinetic principles governing the interfacial nanoparticle self-assembly and directed attachment present a rich, albeit complex scientific problem. In the enclosed manuscript, we describe the interesting interplay of entropic and enthalpic driving forces and the kinetic aspects of interfacial self-assembly and attachment. We present in-situ grazing incidence X-ray scattering measurements and emerging insights into the complex choreography of interfacial transport processes involved in the formation of highly ordered epitaxially connected nanocrystal solids. New understanding emerging from in-situ measurements provides process control and design principles for the selective formation of specific superlattice polymorphs. We discuss outstanding challenges that must be resolved to translate know-how from controlled assembly and attachment in the laboratory to scalable integration for emerging technological applications.