Pan Suna,1, Linsey M. Nowack b,1, Wei Bu a, Mrinal K. Bera a, Sean Griesemer b, Morgan Reik b, Joshua Portner b, Stuart A. Riceb,d, Mark L. Schlossman c and Binhua Lin a,b*
a NSF’s ChemMatCARS, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
b James Franck Institute, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
c Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
d Department of Chemistry, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
ABSTRACT: Thiol ligands bound to the metallic core of nanoparticles determine their interactions with the environment and self-assembly. Recent studies suggest that equilibrium between bound and free thiols alters the ligand coverage of the core. Here, X-ray scattering and MD simulations investigate water-supported monolayers of gold-core nanoparticles as a function of the core-ligand coverage that is varied in experiments by adjusting the concentration of total thiols (sum of free and bound thiols). Simulations demonstrate that the presence of free thiols produces a nearly symmetrical coating of ligands on the core. X-ray measurements show that above a critical value of core-ligand coverage the nanoparticle core rises above the water surface, the edge-to-edge distance between neighboring nanoparticles increases, and the nanoparticle coverage of the surface decreases. These results demonstrate the important role of free thiols: they regulate the organization of bound thiols on the core and the interactions of nanoparticles with their surroundings .
 Pan Sun, Linsey M. Nowack, Wei Bu, Mrinal K. Bera, Sean Griesemer, Morgan Reik, Joshua Portner, Stuart A. Rice, Mark L. Schlossman, and Binhua Lin
Nano Letters 2021 21 (4), 1613-1619