Nucleation-controlled polymerization of nanoparticles into supramolecular structures

Jing Wang, Hongwei Xia, Yanfeng Zhang, Hua Lu, Ranjan Kamat, Andrey V. Dobrynin, Jianjun Cheng, Yao Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Controlled assembly of inorganic nanoparticles (NPs) into structurally defined supramolecular polymers will create nanomaterials with new collective properties. However, supramolecular polymerization of isotropic NPs remains a challenge because of the lack of anisotropic interactions in these monomers to undergo directional associations for the cooperative growth of supramolecular chains. Herein we report self-assembly behavior of poly(l-glutamic acid)-grafted gold NPs in solution and describe how combined attractive and repulsive interactions influence the shape and size of the resulting supramolecular assemblies. The study shows that the chain growth of supramolecular polymers can be achieved from the NP monomers and the process occurs in two distinct stages, with a slow nucleation step followed by a faster chain propagation step. The resulting supramolecular structures depend on both the grafting density of the poly(l-glutamic acid) on the NPs and the size of the NPs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11417-11420
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number31
StatePublished - Aug 7 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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