Monocrystalline materials are essential for optoelectronic devices such as solar cells, LEDs, lasers, and transistors to reach the highest performance. Advances in synthetic chemistry now allow for high quality monocrystalline nanomaterials to be grown at low temperature in solution for many materials; however, the realization of extended structures with control over the final 3D geometry still remains elusive. Here, a new paradigm is presented, which relies on epitaxy between monocrystalline nanocube building blocks. The nanocubes are assembled in a predefined pattern and then epitaxially connected at the atomic level by chemical growth in solution, to form monocrystalline nanopatterns on arbitrary substrates. As a first demonstration, it is shown that monocrystalline silver structures obtained with such a process have optical properties and conductivity comparable to single-crystalline silver. This flexible multiscale process may ultimately enable the implementation of monocrystalline materials in optoelectronic devices, raising performance to the ultimate limit.

European Research Council (ERC) , NWO
Weinheim: Wiley
Adv. Mater.
Photonic Materials

Sciacca, B., Berkhout, A., Brenny, B., Oener, S., van Huis, M., Polman, A., & Garnett, E. (2017). Monocrystalline Nanopatterns Made by Nanocube Assembly and Epitaxy. Adv. Mater., 29(Article number: 1701064), 1–6. doi:10.1002/adma.201701064