Self-Assembled Superlattices from Colloidal TiO2 Nanorods
The self-assembly of anatase TiO2 nanorods into 1D (ribbon), 2D (smectic, domino, honeycomb) and 3D (lamellar) liquidcrystalline ordered superlattices is a process that depends on the collaboration between evaporation dynamics and directional interactions. Herein, the roles of entropic depletion attractions and energetic dipole-dipole couplings between TiO2 nanorods in self-assembly process are particularly emphasized. Excess oleic acid surfactants act as depletion agents to induce the inter-rod depletion effect, and the origin of electric dipole moment along the longitudinal axes of TiO2 rods is theoretically authenticated by applying the Accelrys Materials Studio as a new strategy combined with Taskers theory. These nanorod superlattices provided here may have great importance for tailoring new promising structures for photovoltaic application or exploring new inorganic liquid crystal materials.
Keywords: Titanium oxide, self-assembly, nanorod superlattice, liquid-crystal order, depletion attraction, dipole-dipole coupling
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