Natural systems give the route to design periodic arrangements with mesoscopic architecture using individual nanocrystals as building blocks forming colloidal crystals or supracrystals. The collective properties of such supracrystals are one of the main driving forces in materials research for the 21st century with potential applications in electronics or biomedical environments. Here we describe two simultaneous supracrystal growth processes from gold nanocrystal suspension, taking place in solution and at the air-liquid interface. Furthermore, the growth processes involve the crystallinity selection of nanocrystals and induce marked changes in the supracrystal mechanical properties.
© 2012 American Chemical Society