Shape-controlled colloidal nanocrystal syntheses often require aid from facet-selective solution-phase chemical additives to regulate atom addition/migration fluxes or oriented particle attachment. Because of their highly tunable chemical property and robustness to a wide range of experimental conditions, peptoids contribute to a very promising group of next-generation functional chemical additives. To generalize the design philosophy, it is critical to understand the origin of facet selectivity at the molecular level. We employ molecular dynamics simulations and biased sampling methods to investigate the origin of Au(111)-favored adsorption of a peptoid, Nce3Ncp6, that is evidenced to assist the formation of five-fold twinned nanostructures. We find that the facet-selectivity is achieved through a synergistic effect of both molecule-surface and solvent-surface interactions. Extending beyond the single-chain scenario, the order of peptoid-peptoid and peptoid-surface energetics, i.e., peptoid-Au(100) < peptoid-peptoid < peptoid-Au(111), further amplifies the distinct behavior of Nce3Ncp6 chains on different Au surfaces. Our studies set the stage for future peptoid design in shape-controlled nanocrystal syntheses by probing the facet selectivity from various perspectives.
Supporting Information: Into the Facet-Selectivity of Sequenced Amphiphilic Peptoids at the Au-Water Interface
Additional information on simulation and analysis.