Macromolecular Ligand Engineering for Programmable Nanoprism Assembly

Liu Y, Klement M, Wang Y, Zhong Y, Zhu B, Chen J, Engel M, Ye X (2021)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2021


DOI: 10.1021/jacs.1c07281


Ligands play a central role for the energetics and kinetics of nanocrystal assembly. Yet, the precise and simultaneous manipulation of ligands to dictate assembly outcome has proven difficult. Here, we present macromolecular ligand-engineering strategies to control, characterize, and model four molecular parameters of grafted polymer chains: chain length, chain dispersity, grafting density, and chain distribution. Direct ligand-exchange between nanoprisms and polymers functionalizes facets selectively and produces patchy nanocrystals. We develop a generalizable two-step ligand-exchange approach for the independent control of the two emergent brush parameters, brush thickness and brush softness. The resultant polymer-grafted prismatic nanocrystals with programmable ligand brushes self-assemble into thin-film superstructures of different wallpaper symmetries and faceted supracrystals. Our experiments are complemented by coarse-grained computer simulations of nanoprisms with directional, facet-specific interactions. This work paves the way for the precision synthesis of polymer-nanocrystal hybrid materials and enables the further refinement of theoretical models for particle brush materials.

Authors with CRIS profile

Related research project(s)

Involved external institutions

How to cite


Liu, Y., Klement, M., Wang, Y., Zhong, Y., Zhu, B., Chen, J.,... Ye, X. (2021). Macromolecular Ligand Engineering for Programmable Nanoprism Assembly. Journal of the American Chemical Society.


Liu, Yang, et al. "Macromolecular Ligand Engineering for Programmable Nanoprism Assembly." Journal of the American Chemical Society (2021).

BibTeX: Download