Cell sheet-like soft nanoreactor arrays

Qianqian Shi, Zijun Yong, Md Hemayet Uddin, Runfang Fu, Debabrata Sikdar, Lim Wei Yap, Bo Fan, Yiyi Liu, Dashen Dong, Wenlong Cheng

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Tissues, which consist of groups of closely packed cell arrays, are essentially sheet-like biosynthesis plants. In tissues, individual cells are discrete microreactors working under highly viscous and confined environments. Herein, soft polystyrene-encased nanoframe (PEN) reactor arrays, as analogous nanoscale “sheet-like chemosynthesis plants”, for the controlled synthesis of novel nanocrystals, are reported. Although the soft polystyrene (PS) is only 3 nm thick, it is elastic, robust, and permeable to aqueous solutes, while significantly slowing down their diffusion. PEN-associated palladium (Pd) crystallization follows a diffusion-controlled zero-order kinetics rather than a reaction-controlled first-order kinetics in bulk solution. Each individual PEN reactor has a volume in the zeptoliter range, which offers a unique confined environment, enabling a directional inward crystallization, in contrast to the conventional outward nucleation/growth that occurs in an unconfined bulk solution. This strategy makes it possible to generate a set of mono-, bi-, and trimetallic, and even semiconductor nanocrystals with tunable interior structures, which are difficult to achieve with normal systems based on bulk solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2105630
Number of pages10
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2022

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