Nanoparticles change the ordering pattern of n -carboxylic acids into nanorods on HOPG

Ruomiao Wang, Li Li, Indika Arachchige, Shreyashi Ganguly, Stephanie L. Brock, Guangzhao Mao

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9 Scopus citations


This paper describes the formation of organic nanorods induced by monolayer-protected inorganic nanoparticles. Alkanes and alkane derivatives, such as n-carboxylic acids, self-assemble on highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) into a persistent molecular packing structure that is dictated by the epitaxial interaction between the carbon chain plane and the HOPG basal plane. Carboxylic acids form 2-D crystalline layers consisting of nanostripe domains whose periodicity is one or two times the molecular chain length. However, when the molecular ordering occurs in the vicinity of a nanoparticle, this persistent HOPG-dominated nanostripe pattern is disrupted, and nanorods attached to the nanoparticles become the dominant structure. In order to understand the underlying mechanism of the nanoparticle-mediated nanorod formation, the effects of film-forming conditions, carboxylic acid chain length, nanoparticle size, and chemical composition of the nanoparticle are examined. It is determined that carboxylic acid nanorods can be induced by nanoparticles of different core materials including CdSe, CdS, and Au, as long as the protecting monolayer allows sufficient dispersion and colloidal stability of the nanoparticles in solution. A carboxylic chain length range amenable to the nanorod formation is identified, as is the relationship between the nanoparticle size and the number of nanorods per nanoparticle. This study contributes to the understanding of seed-mediated crystallization and molecular ordering. Moreover, it defines the parameters governing solution-based formation of hybrid nanostructures and nanopatterns incorporating dual functionality as defined by the inorganic nanoparticle and organic nanorod, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6687-6696
Number of pages10
JournalACS nano
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 23 2010


  • AFM
  • Hybrid nanostructure
  • Nanoparticle
  • Nanorod
  • Self-assembly


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