Chain-End Functionalized Polymers for the Controlled Synthesis of Sub-2 nm Particles

Peng Cheng Chen, Yuan Liu, Jingshan S. Du, Brian Meckes, Vinayak P. Dravid, Chad A. Mirkin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A novel method for synthesizing arrays of uniform sub-2 nm particles on substrates is described. Such particles are made by (i) using dip-pen nanolithography to prepare nanoreactors consisting of metal-coordinated polymers; (ii) designing polymers with only one metal atom attached to each polymer chain; (iii) systematically controlling nanoreactor volume down to the yoctoliter scale; and (iv) transforming each nanoreactor into a metal nanoparticle through thermal annealing. Polymer design in this study is crucial, since it allows one to tightly control nanoparticle size by tuning the volume of the polymer reactors, which correlates with the number of polymer chains and, therefore, metal atoms. Mixtures of different metal-functionalized polymers were used to synthesize ultrasmall alloy particles. The technique and results described herein point toward a way of using these novel polymers to systematically explore the properties and uses of this important class of nanomaterials in many fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7350-7355
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 22 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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