Surface-ligand-induced crystallographic disorder–order transition in oriented attachment for the tuneable assembly of mesocrystals

Bum Chul Park, Min Jun Ko, Young Kwang Kim, Gyu Won Kim, Myeong Soo Kim, Thomas Myeongseok Koo, Hong En Fu, Young Keun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


In the crystallisation of nanomaterials, an assembly-based mechanism termed ‘oriented attachment’ (OA) has recently been recognised as an alternative mechanism of crystal growth that cannot be explained by the classical theory. However, attachment alignment during OA is not currently tuneable because its mechanism is poorly understood. Here, we identify the crystallographic disorder-order transitions in the OA of magnetite (Fe3O4) mesocrystals depending on the types of organic surface ligands on the building blocks, which produce different grain structures. We find that alignment variations induced by different surface ligands are guided by surface energy anisotropy reduction and surface deformation. Further, we determine the effects of alignment-dependent magnetic interactions between building blocks on the global magnetic properties of mesocrystals and their chains. These results revisit the driving force of OA and provide an approach for chemically controlling the crystallographic order in colloidal nanocrystalline materials directly related to grain engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1144
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Y. Keun K. and B.C.P. acknowledge support from the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (2019R1A2C3006587, 2019R1I1A1A01062020). We thank the Virtual Lab. Inc. for providing valuable input on theoretical modeling and analyses.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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