Rapid fabrication of hierarchically structured supramolecular nanocomposite thin films in one minute

Joseph Kao, Kari Thorkelsson, Peter Bai, Zhen Zhang, Cheng Sun, Ting Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Functional nanocomposites containing nanoparticles of different chemical compositions may exhibit new properties to meet demands for advanced technology. It is imperative to simultaneously achieve hierarchical structural control and to develop rapid, scalable fabrication to minimize degradation of nanoparticle properties and for compatibility with nanomanufacturing. Here we show that the assembly kinetics of supramolecular nanocomposites in thin films are governed by the energetic cost arising from defects, the chain mobility and the activation energy for inter-domain diffusion. By optimizing only one parameter, the solvent fraction in the film, the assembly kinetics can be precisely tailored to produce hierarchically structured thin films of supramolecular nanocomposites in one minute. Moreover, the strong wavelength-dependent optical anisotropy in the nanocomposite highlights their potential applications for light manipulation and information transmission. The present study may open a new avenue in designing manufacture-friendly continuous processing for the fabrication of functional nanocomposite thin films.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4053
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Jun 2 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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