Millimeter-Scale Assembly of CdSe Nanorods into Smectic Superstructures by Solvent Drying Kinetics


  • This work has been supported by an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, NSF (NSF Career Award DMR-0449533, NSF NSEC DMR-0425780, MRSEC DMR05-20020) and ONR (YIP N000140410489 and N000140510393). M.F. acknowledges funding from the NSF-IGERT program (Grant DGE-0221664). The authors also appreciate fruitful discussions with Prof. Tom Lubensky during the preparation of the manuscript. Finally, the authors thank Robin Havener for assisting with AFM imaging. Supporting Information is available online from Wiley InterScience or from the authors.


original image

Solid-state CdSe nanorod (NR) smectic superstructures (see figure) on a millimeter scale are achieved by exploiting capillary flow kinetics of a drying droplet. NRs assemble side-to-side into micrometer-long “tracks”, acting as individual building blocks that assemble by capillary forces into smectic superstructures. The size of the superstructures and the short drying time makes the capillary-flow mechanism of ordered self-assembly attractive for general NR-superstructure studies and applications.