Self-assembly of self-limiting monodisperse supraparticles from polydisperse nanoparticles

Yunsheng Xia, Trung Dac Nguyen, Ming Yang, Byeongdu Lee, Aaron Santos, Paul Podsiadlo, Zhiyong Tang*, Sharon C. Glotzer, Nicholas A. Kotov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

421 Scopus citations


Nanoparticles are known to self-assemble into larger structures through growth processes that typically occur continuously and depend on the uniformity of the individual nanoparticles. Here, we show that inorganic nanoparticles with non-uniform size distributions can spontaneously assemble into uniformly sized supraparticles with core-shell morphologies. This self-limiting growth process is governed by a balance between electrostatic repulsion and van der Waals attraction, which is aided by the broad polydispersity of the nanoparticles. The generic nature of the interactions creates flexibility in the composition, size and shape of the constituent nanoparticles, and leads to a large family of self-assembled structures, including hierarchically organized colloidal crystals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)580-587
Number of pages8
JournalNature nanotechnology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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