Nanoparticle Assembly and Oriented Attachment: Correlating Controlling Factors to the Resulting Structures

Dongsheng Li, Qian Chen, Jaehun Chun, Kristen Fichthorn, James De Yoreo, Haimei Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Nanoparticle assembly and attachment are common pathways of crystal growth by which particles organize into larger scale materials with hierarchical structure and long-range order. In particular, oriented attachment (OA), which is a special type of particle assembly, has attracted great attention in recent years because of the wide range of material structures that result from this process, such as one-dimensional (1D) nanowires, two-dimensional (2D) sheets, three-dimensional (3D) branched structures, twinned crystals, defects, etc. Utilizing in situ transmission electron microscopy techniques, researchers observed orientation-specific forces that act over short distances (∼1 nm) from the particle surfaces and drive the OA process. Integrating recently developed 3D fast force mapping via atomic force microscopy with theories and simulations, researchers have resolved the near-surface solution structure, the molecular details of charge states at particle/fluid interfaces, inhomogeneity of surface charges, and dielectric/magnetic properties of particles that influence short- and long-range forces, such as electrostatic, van der Waals, hydration, and dipole-dipole forces. In this review, we discuss the fundamental principles for understanding particle assembly and attachment processes, and the controlling factors and resulting structures. We review recent progress in the field via examples of both experiments and modeling, and discuss current developments and the future outlook.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3127-3159
Number of pages33
JournalChemical reviews
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 22 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


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