CdSe nanorods were found to assemble at an oil–water interface (on the surface of water droplets) as shown by small-angle neutron scattering. When nanorod-covered droplets were dried on a substrate, the decrease in interfacial area produced an in-plane compression, leading to various two-dimensional packing motifs for the nanorods across the droplet surface, from a low-density random packing to a more dense smectic ordering to a crystalline phase (see image).
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