|Title||Manipulating and monitoring nanoparticles in micellar thin film superstructures|
|Author(s)||Hove, Jan Bart ten; Leeuwen, Fijs W.B. van; Velders, Aldrik H.|
|Source||Nature Communications 9 (2018)1. - ISSN 2041-1723|
|Publication type||Refereed Article in a scientific journal|
Understanding the dynamics of discrete self-assembled structures under influence of external triggers is of interest to harvest the potential of nano- and mesoscale materials. In particular, controlling the hierarchical organization of (macro)molecular and nanoparticle building blocks in monolayer superstructures is of paramount importance for tuning properties and characteristics. Here we show how the electron beam in cryo-transmission electron microscopy can be exploited to induce and follow local migration of building blocks and global migration of micellar aggregates inside micrometer-sized superstructures. We employ stroboscopic exposure to heat up and convert the vitrified superstructure into a liquid-like thin film under cryogenic conditions, resulting in controlled evaporation of water that finally leads to rupture of the micelle-containing superstructure. Micelle-embedded nanoparticles prove a powerful tool to study the complex hierarchically built-up superstructures, and to visualize both global movement of individual dendrimicelles and local migration of nanoparticles inside the micellar core during the exposure series.