Short Poster Lecture
Self-assembly of organically-grafted nanoparticles into superlattices has multiple applications in advanced optical, electronic and biomedical materials. The mechanical properties of supercrystalline materials are nevertheless still mostly unknown, with investigations only for two-dimensional films, but absence of data when it comes to bulk (macroscopic and 3D) composites. This study addresses the latter. Bulk composites of ceramic nanoparticles functionalized with organic ligands are produced with a simple routine, consisting of self-assembly, pressing and heat treatment. An investigation of these supercrystalline materials’ mechanical behavior and properties has then been conducted. The utilized techniques range from nanoindentation to micro- bending and compression, both ex-situ and in-situ via combination with Small Angle X-Ray Scattering and Wide Angle X-Ray Scattering. A thorough overview of the nanocomposites’ rheology, strength, hardness, stiffness and fracture toughness has emerged, leading to guidelines towards the production of bulk supercrystalline materials with tailored mechanical properties.