Title: Plastic and moldable metals by self-assembly of sticky nanoparticle aggregates

Authors: R Klajn, K J M Bishop, M Fialkowski, M Paszewski, C J Campbell, T P Gray and B A Grzybowski

Source: Science, April 13, 2007, Vol. 316, no. 5822, pp. 261-264

Abstract: Deformable, spherical aggregates of metal nanoparticles connected by long-chain dithiol ligands self-assemble into nanostructured materials of macroscopic dimensions. These materials are plastic and moldable against arbitrarily shaped masters and can be thermally hardened into polycrystalline metal structures of controllable porosity. In addition, in both plastic and hardened states, the assemblies are electrically conductive and exhibit Ohmic characteristics down to \approx20 volts per meter. The self-assembly method leading to such materials is applicable both to pure metals and to bimetallic structures of various elemental compositions.