“Precipitation on Nanoparticles”: Attractive Intermolecular Interactions Stabilize Specific Ligand Ratios on the Surfaces of Nanoparticles

Zonglin Chu, Yanxiao Han, Petr Král, Rafal Klajn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


Confining organic molecules to the surfaces of inorganic nanoparticles can induce intermolecular interactions between them, which can affect the composition of the mixed self-assembled monolayers obtained by co-adsorption from solution of two different molecules. Two thiolated ligands (a dialkylviologen and a zwitterionic sulfobetaine) that can interact with each other electrostatically were coadsorbed onto gold nanoparticles. The nanoparticles favor a narrow range of ratios of these two molecules that is largely independent of the molar ratio in solution. Changing the solution molar ratio of the two ligands by a factor of 5 000 affects the on-nanoparticle ratio of these ligands by only threefold. This behavior is reminiscent of the formation of insoluble inorganic salts (such as AgCl), which similarly compensate positive and negative charges upon crystallizing. Our results pave the way towards developing well-defined hybrid organic–inorganic nanostructures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7023-7027
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Jun 11 2018



  • ligand exchange
  • nanoparticles
  • self-assembly
  • supramolecular chemistry
  • surface chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)

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