Nature communications

Fabrication of three-dimensionally interconnected nanoparticle superlattices and their lithium-ion storage properties.

PMID 25739732


Three-dimensional superlattices consisting of nanoparticles represent a new class of condensed materials with collective properties arising from coupling interactions between close-packed nanoparticles. Despite recent advances in self-assembly of nanoparticle superlattices, the constituent materials have been limited to those that are attainable as monodisperse nanoparticles. In addition, self-assembled nanoparticle superlattices are generally weakly coupled due to the surface-coating ligands. Here we report the fabrication of three-dimensionally interconnected nanoparticle superlattices with face-centered cubic symmetry without the presynthesis of the constituent nanoparticles. We show that mesoporous carbon frameworks derived from self-assembled supercrystals can be used as a robust matrix for the growth of nanoparticle superlattices with diverse compositions. The resulting interconnected nanoparticle superlattices embedded in a carbon matrix are particularly suitable for energy storage applications. We demonstrate this by incorporating tin oxide nanoparticle superlattices as anode materials for lithium-ion batteries, and the resulting electrochemical performance is attributable to their unique architectures.