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Self-assembly of nanocrystal checkerboard patterns

What Has Been Achieved: The assembly of checkerboard lattices from colloidal nanocrystals that harness the effects of multiple, coupled physical forces at disparate length scales (interfacial, interparticle, and intermolecular) and that do not rely on chemical binding.

Importance of the Achievement: Checkerboard lattices—where the resulting structure is open, porous, and highly symmetric—are difficult to create by self-assembly. The successful feedback loop between molecular dynamics simulations and interfacial assembly experiments is critical for targeting these lattices, which represent a tiny fraction of the phase space associated with the polymer-grafted nanocrystals used in these experiments.

Relation to the IRG1: This discovery has validated IRG1’s original hypothesis that computational efforts can be used to discover, design, and target self-assembled nanocrystal mesophases.

Nature Communications 2024, 15, 3913. DOI : 10.1038/s41467-024-47572-2