Real-space image of charged patches in tunable-size nanocrystals

Jordi Faraudo, Ramón Yáñez López, Jordi Martínez-Esaín, Ana Pérez Rodríguez, Esther Barrena, Carmen Ocal García, Susagna Ricart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The remarkable dual nature of faceted-charge patchy metal fluoride nanocrystals arises from the spontaneous selective coordination of anionic and cationic ligands on the different facets of the nanocrystals. In previous studies, the identification and origin of the charge at the patches were obtained by combining computer simulations with indirect experimental evidence. Taking a step further, we report herein the first direct real-space identification by Kelvin probe force microscopy of the predicted faceted-charge patchy behavior, allowing the image of the dual faceted-charge surfaces. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy reveals the detailed nanocrystal faceting and allows unambiguously inferring the hydrophilic or hydrophobic role of each facet from the identification of the surface atoms exposed at the respective crystallographic planes. The success of the study lies in a foresighted synthesis methodology designed to tune the nanocrystal size to be suitable for microscopy studies and demanding applications.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMaterials
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Patchy nanocrystals
  • Charged patches
  • HRTEM
  • KPFM

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