Single-Step Self-Organization of Ordered Macroporous Nanocrystal Thin Films


  • The authors thank John Mendenhall for preparation of the gold film, Todd Bailey for assistance with the contact angle measurements, and Jasper Dickson for assistance with the interfacial tension measurements. This work is supported in part by the STC Program of the National Science Foundation under Agreement No. CHE-9876674. We also acknowledge the Welch Foundation and the Department of Energy.


Spatially organized macroporous thin films made of close-packed nanocrystals (see Figure) can be formed using a single-step dispersion evaporation technique. Water condensation is induced, in which droplet coalescence is prevented by interfacially active nanocrystals, allowing close-packed arrays of monodisperse water droplets to form. The hydrophobic nanocrystals then mold themselves around the water droplet template, leading to highly ordered porous nanocrystal films.