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      Critical assessment of the evidence for striped nanoparticles

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          Abstract

          There is now a significant body of literature in which it is claimed that stripes form in the ligand shell of suitably functionalised Au nanoparticles. This stripe morphology has been proposed to strongly affect the physicochemical and biochemical properties of the particles. We critique the published evidence for striped nanoparticles in detail, with a particular focus on the interpretation of scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) data (as this is the only technique which ostensibly provides direct evidence for the presence of stripes). Through a combination of an exhaustive re-analysis of the original data with new experimental measurements of a simple control sample comprising entirely unfunctionalised particles, we conclusively show that all of the STM evidence for striped nanoparticles published to date can instead be explained by a combination of well-known instrumental artefacts, strong observer bias, and/or improper data acquisition/analysis protocols. We also critically re-examine the evidence for the presence of ligand stripes which has been claimed to have been found from transmission electron microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, small angle neutron scattering experiments, and computer simulations. Although these data can indeed be interpreted in terms of stripe formation, we show that, just as for the STM measurements, rather more mundane interpretations can account for the reported results.

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          Most cited references54

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          Atomic Force Microscope

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            WSXM: a software for scanning probe microscopy and a tool for nanotechnology.

            In this work we briefly describe the most relevant features of WSXM, a freeware scanning probe microscopy software based on MS-Windows. The article is structured in three different sections: The introduction is a perspective on the importance of software on scanning probe microscopy. The second section is devoted to describe the general structure of the application; in this section the capabilities of WSXM to read third party files are stressed. Finally, a detailed discussion of some relevant procedures of the software is carried out.
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              Positioning single atoms with a scanning tunnelling microscope

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                2013-12-24
                Article
                10.1371/journal.pone.0108482
                1312.6812
                c58c7a38-cb78-4964-8c95-aa5e1a1078bc

                http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

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                Custom metadata
                physics.data-an cond-mat.mtrl-sci

                Condensed matter,Mathematical & Computational physics
                Condensed matter, Mathematical & Computational physics

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