Recent studies based on scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) have shown that when gold nanoparticles are coated with binary mixtures of ligand molecules ribbon-like domains of alternating composition spontaneously form in the particles ligand shell. The presence of these domains has been linked to many surface properties, such as protein nonspecific adsorption, cell membrane permeation, or solubility. Here we present a detailed report on the methods and procedures used to acquire and analyze STM images of these ligand coated nanoparticles. We develop a novel statistical approach to analyze the images and differentiate them from images generated by feedback loop artifact. We conclude with a discussion of the potentials and problems of this technique.
- Gold nanoparticles
- Ligand shell
- Phase separation
- Protected metal nanoparticles
- Scanning tunneling microscopy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)