Shape Transformation of Constituent Building Blocks within Self-Assembled Nanosheets and Nano-origami

Qianqian Shi, Dashen Dong, Kae Jye Si, Debabrata Sikdar, Lim Wei Yap, Malin Premaratne, Wenlong Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Self-assembly of nanoparticles represents a simple yet efficient route to synthesize designer materials with unusual properties. However, the previous assembled structures whether by surfactants, polymer, or DNA ligands are "static" or "frozen" building block structures. Here, we report the growth of transformable self-assembled nanosheets which could enable reversible switching between two types of nanosheets and even evolving into diverse third generation nanosheet structures without losing pristine periodicity. Such in situ transformation of nanoparticle building blocks can even be achieved in a free-standing two-dimensional system and three-dimensional origami. The success in such in situ nanocrystal transformation is attributed to robust "plant-cell-wall-like" ion-permeable reactor arrays from densely packed polymer ligands, which spatially define and confine nanoscale nucleation/growth/etching events. Our strategy enables efficient fabrication of nanocrystal nanosheets with programmable building blocks for innovative applications in adaptive tactile metamaterials, optoelectronic devices, and sensors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1014-1022
Number of pages9
JournalACS Nano
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2018


  • nano-origami
  • nanoparticle
  • nanosheet
  • self-assembly
  • transformation

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