Polyoxometalate-Engineered Building Blocks with Gold Cores for the Self-Assembly of Responsive Water-Soluble Nanostructures Academic Article uri icon


  • The controlled assembly of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) with the size of quantum dots into predictable structures is extremely challenging as it requires the quantitatively and topologically precise placement of anisotropic domains on their small, approximately spherical surfaces. We herein address this problem by using polyoxometalate leaving groups to transform 2 nm diameter gold cores into reactive building blocks with hydrophilic and hydrophobic surface domains whose relative sizes can be precisely tuned to give dimers, clusters, and larger micelle‐like organizations. Using cryo‐TEM imaging and 1H DOSY NMR spectroscopy, we then provide an unprecedented “solution‐state” picture of how the micelle‐like structures respond to hydrophobic guests by encapsulating them within 250 nm diameter vesicles whose walls are comprised of amphiphilic AuNP membranes. These findings provide a versatile new option for transforming very small AuNPs into precisely tailored building blocks for the rational design of functional water‐soluble assemblies.

publication date

  • May 16, 2017