Spontaneous Patterning of Binary Ligand Mixtures on CdSe Nanocrystals: From Random to Janus Packing

Orian Elimelech, Meirav Oded, Daniel Harries, Uri Banin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Binary compositions of surface ligands are known to improve the colloidal stability and fluorescence quantum yield of nanocrystals (NCs), due to ligand-ligand interactions and surface organization. Herein, we follow the thermodynamics of a ligand exchange reaction of CdSe NCs with alkylthiol mixtures. The effects of ligand polarity and length difference on ligand packing were investigated using isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). The thermodynamic signature of the formation of mixed ligand shells was observed. Correlating the experimental results with thermodynamic mixing models has allowed us to calculate the interchain interactions and to infer the final ligand shell configuration. Our findings demonstrate that, in contrast to macroscopic surfaces, the small dimensions of the NCs and the subsequent increased interfacial region between dissimilar ligands allow the formation of a myriad of clustering patterns, controlled by the interligand interactions. This work provides a fundamental understanding of the parameters determining the ligand shell structure and should help guide smart surface design toward NC-based applications.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)5852-5860
Number of pages9
JournalACS Nano
Issue number6
StatePublished - 28 Mar 2023


  • CdSe nanocrystals
  • interligand interaction
  • isothermal titration calorimetry
  • ligand exchange
  • ligand patterning

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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