Device of the Month
June 2004
Tailoring the Work Function of Gold by Electrostatic Assembly of Metal Nanoparticles

The modulation of the work function in layer-by-layer electrostatic assembly of metal nanoparticles and poly-L-lysine is studied as a function of the size and nature of the particle. Particles with a diameter smaller than 10 nm can be organised in ordered multilayers, featuring regular fluctuations of the work function. While the amplitude of the modulation is determined by the properties of the polypeptide and the layer-by-layer ordering, the work function of the nanoparticle terminated surface is determined by the nature of the metal particle and its surface functionalisation.

This work was carried out in the group of Prof. David J. Fermín.


  • M. Carrara, J. J. Kakkassery, J.-P. Abid, D. J. Fermín;
    "Modulation of the Work Function in Layer-by-Layer Assembly of Metal Nanoparticles and Poly-L-lysine on Modified Au Surfaces"
    ChemPhysChem, 5, 571-575, (2004); doi:10.1002/cphc.200301212.