Journal article

Gold Metal Liquid-Like Droplets

Simple methods to self-assemble coatings and films encompassing nanoparticles are highly desirable in many practical scenarios, yet scarcely any examples of simple, robust approaches to coat macroscopic droplets with continuous, thick (multilayer), reflective and stable liquid nanoparticle films exist. Here, we introduce a facile and rapid one-step route to form films of reflective liquid-like gold that encase macroscopic droplets, and denote these as gold metal liquid-like droplets (MeLLDs). The present approach takes advantage of the inherent self-assembly of gold nanoparticles at liquid-liquid interfaces and the increase in rates of nanoparticle aggregate trapping at the interface during emulsification. The ease of displacement of the stabilizing citrate ligands by appropriate redox active molecules that act as a lubricating molecular glue is key. Specifically, the heterogeneous interaction of citrate stabilized aqueous gold nanoparticles with the lipophilic electron donor tetrathiafulvalene under emulsified conditions produces gold MeLLDs. This methodology relies exclusively on electrochemical reactions, i.e., the oxidation of tetrathiafulvalene to its radical cation by the gold nanoparticle, and electrostatic interactions between the radical cation and nanoparticles. The gold MeLLDs are reversibly deformable upon compression and decompression and kinetically stable for extended periods of time in excess of a year

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