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      Bridging functional nanocomposites to robust macroscale devices

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      Science

      American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

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          Abstract

          At the intersection of the outwardly disparate fields of nanoparticle science and three-dimensional printing lies the promise of revolutionary new “nanocomposite” materials. Emergent phenomena deriving from the nanoscale constituents pave the way for a new class of transformative materials with encoded functionality amplified by new couplings between electrical, optical, transport, and mechanical properties. We provide an overview of key scientific advances that empower the development of such materials: nanoparticle synthesis and assembly, multiscale assembly and patterning, and mechanical characterization to assess stability. The focus is on recent illustrations of approaches that bridge these fields, facilitate the design of ordered nanocomposites, and offer clear pathways to device integration. We conclude by highlighting the remaining scientific challenges, including the critical need for assembly-compatible particle–fluid systems that ultimately yield mechanically robust materials. The role of domain boundaries and/or defects emerges as an important open question to address, with recent advances in fabrication setting the stage for future work in this area.

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          Most cited references 69

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          A DNA-based method for rationally assembling nanoparticles into macroscopic materials.

          Colloidal particles of metals and semiconductors have potentially useful optical, optoelectronic and material properties that derive from their small (nanoscopic) size. These properties might lead to applications including chemical sensors, spectroscopic enhancers, quantum dot and nanostructure fabrication, and microimaging methods. A great deal of control can now be exercised over the chemical composition, size and polydispersity of colloidal particles, and many methods have been developed for assembling them into useful aggregates and materials. Here we describe a method for assembling colloidal gold nanoparticles rationally and reversibly into macroscopic aggregates. The method involves attaching to the surfaces of two batches of 13-nm gold particles non-complementary DNA oligonucleotides capped with thiol groups, which bind to gold. When we add to the solution an oligonucleotide duplex with 'sticky ends' that are complementary to the two grafted sequences, the nanoparticles self-assemble into aggregates. This assembly process can be reversed by thermal denaturation. This strategy should now make it possible to tailor the optical, electronic and structural properties of the colloidal aggregates by using the specificity of DNA interactions to direct the interactions between particles of different size and composition.
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            Dense packing and symmetry in small clusters of microspheres.

            When small numbers of colloidal microspheres are attached to the surfaces of liquid emulsion droplets, removing fluid from the droplets leads to packings of spheres that minimize the second moment of the mass distribution. The structures of the packings range from sphere doublets, triangles, and tetrahedra to exotic polyhedra not found in infinite lattice packings, molecules, or minimum-potential energy clusters. The emulsion system presents a route to produce new colloidal structures and a means to study how different physical constraints affect symmetry in small parcels of matter.
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              Direct Ink Writing of 3D Functional Materials

               J. A. Lewis (2006)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Science
                Science
                American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
                0036-8075
                1095-9203
                June 27 2019
                June 28 2019
                June 27 2019
                June 28 2019
                : 364
                : 6447
                : eaav4299
                Article
                10.1126/science.aav4299
                © 2019

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