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Published June 14, 2023 | Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Tunable Mechanical Response of Self-Assembled Nanoparticle Superlattices


Self-assembled nanoparticle superlattices (NPSLs) are an emergent class of self-architected nanocomposite materials that possess promising properties arising from precise nanoparticle ordering. Their multiple coupled properties make them desirable as functional components in devices where mechanical robustness is critical. However, questions remain about NPSL mechanical properties and how shaping them affects their mechanical response. Here, we perform in situ nanomechanical experiments that evidence up to an 11-fold increase in stiffness (∼1.49 to 16.9 GPa) and a 5-fold increase in strength (∼88 to 426 MPa) because of surface stiffening/strengthening from shaping these nanomaterials via focused-ion-beam milling. To predict the mechanical properties of shaped NPSLs, we present discrete element method (DEM) simulations and an analytical core–shell model that capture the FIB-induced stiffening response. This work presents a route for tunable mechanical responses of self-architected NPSLs and provides two frameworks to predict their mechanical response and guide the design of future NPSL-containing devices.

Additional Information

© 2023 American Chemical Society. C.M.P. and S.D. acknowledge the support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through CAREER Award CMMI-2142460. R.J.M. acknowledges support in part by the U.S. Army Research Office under Grant W911NF-18-1-0197, NSF CAREER Award CHE-1653289, and the Department of the Navy, Office of Naval Research, under ONR award number N00014-22-1-2148. J.E.A. and Z.Z. acknowledge the support from the NSF under award number CMMI-2033779. The authors thank Margaret Lee for support in sample preparation, Rebecca Li and Carl Thrasher for sample characterization at Argonne National Laboratory, and Theodore Hueckel for helpful discussions. The authors declare no competing financial interest.

Attached Files

Supplemental Material - nl3c01058_si_001.pdf

Supplemental Material - nl3c01058_si_002.mp4

Supplemental Material - nl3c01058_si_003.mp4

Supplemental Material - nl3c01058_si_004.mp4


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August 22, 2023
October 20, 2023