Quantitative 3D real-space analysis of Laves phase supraparticles

Da Wang*, Ernest B. van der Wee, Daniele Zanaga, Thomas Altantzis, Yaoting Wu, Tonnishtha Dasgupta, Marjolein Dijkstra, Christopher B. Murray, Sara Bals, More Authors

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Assembling binary mixtures of nanoparticles into crystals, gives rise to collective properties depending on the crystal structure and the individual properties of both species. However, quantitative 3D real-space analysis of binary colloidal crystals with a thickness of more than 10 layers of particles has rarely been performed. Here we demonstrate that an excess of one species in the binary nanoparticle mixture suppresses the formation of icosahedral order in the self-assembly in droplets, allowing the study of bulk-like binary crystal structures with a spherical morphology also called supraparticles. As example of the approach, we show single-particle level analysis of over 50 layers of Laves phase binary crystals of hard-sphere-like nanoparticles using electron tomography. We observe a crystalline lattice composed of a random mixture of the Laves phases. The number ratio of the binary species in the crystal lattice matches that of a perfect Laves crystal. Our methodology can be applied to study the structure of a broad range of binary crystals, giving insights into the structure formation mechanisms and structure-property relations of nanomaterials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3980
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


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