Campus Units

Chemical and Biological Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Physics and Astronomy, Ames Laboratory, Neuroscience

Document Type


Research Focus Area

Advanced and Nanostructured Materials

Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Particle and Particle Systems Characterization

First Page





Controlled aggregation of nanoparticles into superlattices is a grand challenge in material science, where ligand based self‐assembly is the dominant route. Here, the self‐assembly of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) that are crosslinked by water soluble oligo‐(ethylene glycol)‐dithiol (oEG‐dithiol) is reported and their 3D structure by small angle X‐ray scattering is determined. Surprisingly, a narrow region is found in the parameter space of dithiol linker‐length and nanoparticle size for which the crosslinked networks form short‐ranged FCC crystals. Using geometrical considerations and numerical simulations, the stability of the formed lattices is evaluated as a function of dithiol length and the number of connected nearest‐neighbors, and a phase diagram of superlattice formation is provided. Identifying the narrow parameter space that allows crystallization facilitates focused exploration of linker chemical composition and medium conditions such as thermal annealing, pH, and added solutes that may lead to superior and more robust crystals.


This is the peer-reviewed version of the following article: Nayak, Srikanth, Nathan Horst, Honghu Zhang, Wenjie Wang, Surya Mallapragada, Alex Travesset, and David Vaknin. "Ordered Networks of Gold Nanoparticles Crosslinked by Dithiol‐Oligomers." Particle & Particle Systems Characterization (2018): 1800097. doi: 10.1002/ppsc.201800097. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim



File Format


Published Version