Critical differences in 3D atomic structure of individual ligand-protected nanocrystals in solution

Journal: Science

Published: 2020-04-03

DOI: 10.1126/science.aax3233

Affiliations: 12

Authors: 16

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Research Highlight

Mapping nanoparticles atom by atom



Precise maps of the atoms in nanoparticles reveal that even nanoparticles from the same batch differ significantly from each other.

Nanoparticles have found uses in applications as diverse as cosmetics, medicine, catalysis and batteries. Scientists desire to understand exactly how the properties of nanoparticles depend on their size and structure, but it has been difficult to image nanoparticles in solution at sufficiently high resolution.

Now, a team that included researchers from the Institute for Basic Science in South Korea has used an electron microscopy technique to construct three-dimensional images of the 600 or so atoms in individual platinum nanoparticles in solution.

They found that even nanoparticles made in the same batch have substantially different structures. Such structural differences could cause significant variations in properties and so need to be factored in when making and analysing nanoparticles.

Supported content

  1. Science 368, 60–67 (2020). doi: 10.1126/science.aax3233
Institutions Share
Center for Nanoparticle Research, IBS, South Korea 0.19
Institute of Chemical Processes, SNU, South Korea 0.19
ARC Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging, Australia 0.13
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Yonsei University, South Korea 0.13
School of Physics, Konkuk University, South Korea 0.13
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Monash University, Australia 0.06
Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI), Monash University, Australia 0.06
Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute at Berkeley, United States of America (USA) 0.03
National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM), LBNL, United States of America (USA) 0.03
Department of Chemistry, SNU, South Korea 0.02
Department of Chemistry, UC Berkeley, United States of America (USA) 0.02
Materials Sciences Division (MSD), LBNL, United States of America (USA) 0.02