Today, the creation of new functional materials remains an empirically driven process. Designing materials for future technologies will require some element of predictability and could be realized through a modular approach in which nanoparticles (NPs) are used as building blocks to assemble materials with specific properties. In this article, we consider how the self-assembly of NPs into colloidal crystals with long-range order can be achieved and the factors driving NP assembly. First, we examine binary NP superlattices as a self-assembled system in which a huge diversity of structures with different symmetries and stoichiometries can be found; second, we review how deoxyribonucleic acid can be used to improve the control with which NPs can be self-assembled; and finally, we describe how photonic crystals can be formed using templated self-assembly processes as an example of the potential applications of self-assembled colloidal crystals. While most systems explored to date employ static self-assembly processes, they point to the future possibility of responsive self-assembly approaches for designing smart materials that can be controlled by external energy input. Ultimately, improving our understanding of self-assembly will permit the formation of large-scale NP assemblies and lead to considerable improvements in the rational design of novel materials with new and exciting properties.
|Title of host publication||Comprehensive Supramolecular Chemistry II|
|Place of Publication||United States|
|Number of pages||20|
|Publication status||Published - 22 Jun 2017|