Critical differences in 3D atomic structure of individual ligand-protected nanocrystals in solution

Byung Hyo Kim, Junyoung Heo, Sungin Kim, Cyril F. Reboul, Hoje Chun, Dohun Kang, Hyeonhu Bae, Hyejeong Hyun, Jongwoo Lim, Hoonkyung Lee, Byungchan Han, Taeghwan Hyeon, A. Paul Alivisatos, Peter Ercius, Hans Elmlund, Jungwon Park

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78 Citations (Scopus)


Precise three-dimensional (3D) atomic structure determination of individual nanocrystals is a prerequisite for understanding and predicting their physical properties. Nanocrystals from the same synthesis batch display what are often presumed to be small but possibly important differences in size, lattice distortions, and defects, which can only be understood by structural characterization with high spatial 3D resolution. We solved the structures of individual colloidal platinum nanocrystals by developing atomic-resolution 3D liquid-cell electron microscopy to reveal critical intrinsic heterogeneity of ligand-protected platinum nanocrystals in solution, including structural degeneracies, lattice parameter deviations, internal defects, and strain. These differences in structure lead to substantial contributions to free energies, consequential enough that they must be considered in any discussion of fundamental nanocrystal properties or applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberaax3233
Number of pages8
Issue number6486
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2020

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