3D to 2D reorganization of silver-thiol nanostructures, triggered by solvent vapor annealing

Simone Dell'Elce, Fabiola Liscio, Alessandro Kovtun, Stefano Allegri, Otello M. Roscioni, Cristiano Albonetti, Giovanna De Luca, Heinz W. Amenitsch, Nicola Demitri, Loris Giorgini, Vittorio Morandi, Francesco Stellacci, Andrea Liscio*, Vincenzo Palermo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Metal-organic composites are of great interest for a wide range of applications. The control of their structure remains a challenge, one of the problems being a complex interplay of covalent and supramolecular interactions. This paper describes the self-assembly, thermal stability and phase transitions of ordered structures of silver atoms and thiol molecules spanning from the molecular to the mesoscopic scale. Building blocks of molecularly defined clusters formed from 44 silver atoms, each particle coated by a monolayer of 30 thiol ligands, are used as ideal building blocks. By changing solvent and temperature it is possible to tune the self-assembled 3D crystals of pristine nanoparticles or, conversely, 2D layered structures, with alternated stacks of Ag atoms and thiol monolayers. The study investigates morphological, chemical and structural stability of these materials between 25 and 300 °C in situ and ex situ at the nanoscale by combining optical and electronic spectroscopic and scattering techniques, scanning probe microscopies and density-functional theory (DFT) calculations. The proposed wet-chemistry approach is relatively cheap, easy to implement, and scalable, allowing the fabricated materials with tuned properties using the same building blocks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23018-23026
Number of pages9
Issue number48
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science

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