The interfaces between two immiscible liquids provide unique driving forces for the formation of films from self-assembled nanoparticles. However, most such films suffer from thermodynamic instability, and cannot form enclosures.
Huber H. Girault, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, and colleagues have prepared so called “gold metal liquid-like droplets” (MeLLDs) in one step. The droplets consist of a highly reflective gold nanoparticle shell and an encapsulated solution of tetrathiafulvalene in 1,2-dichloroethane, surrounded by an aqueous phase. These gold MeLLDs are stabilized by citrates and tetrathiafulvalene radical cations at the aqueous and organic interfaces, respectively.
Having many interesting properties, such as kinetic stability, being reversibly deformable, and being non-conductive at the macroscopic scale, these MeLLDs could be used in a variety of research fields, including optics, biomedical research, and sensing applications.
- Gold Metal Liquid-Like Droplets,
Evgeny Smirnov, Micheál D. Scanlon, Dmitry Momotenko, Heron Vrubel, Manuel A. Méndez, Pierre-Francois Brevet, Hubert H. Girault,
ACS Nano 2014.