Spontaneous Patterning of Binary Ligand Mixtures on CdSe Nanocrystals: From Random to Janus Packing

Orian Elimelech, Meirav Oded, Daniel Harries*, Uri Banin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Binary compositions of surface ligands are known to improve the colloidal stability and fluorescence quantum yield of nanocrystals (NCs), due to ligand-ligand interactions and surface organization. Herein, we follow the thermodynamics of a ligand exchange reaction of CdSe NCs with alkylthiol mixtures. The effects of ligand polarity and length difference on ligand packing were investigated using isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). The thermodynamic signature of the formation of mixed ligand shells was observed. Correlating the experimental results with thermodynamic mixing models has allowed us to calculate the interchain interactions and to infer the final ligand shell configuration. Our findings demonstrate that, in contrast to macroscopic surfaces, the small dimensions of the NCs and the subsequent increased interfacial region between dissimilar ligands allow the formation of a myriad of clustering patterns, controlled by the interligand interactions. This work provides a fundamental understanding of the parameters determining the ligand shell structure and should help guide smart surface design toward NC-based applications.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)5852-5860
Number of pages9
JournalACS Nano
Issue number6
StatePublished - 28 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research leading to these results has received financial support from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement no. 741767, CoupledNC). O.E. acknowledges support from the Hebrew University Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. U.B. thanks the Alfred & Erica Larisch memorial chair.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society


  • CdSe nanocrystals
  • interligand interaction
  • isothermal titration calorimetry
  • ligand exchange
  • ligand patterning


Dive into the research topics of 'Spontaneous Patterning of Binary Ligand Mixtures on CdSe Nanocrystals: From Random to Janus Packing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this