Disclosed herein is an isolable colloidal particle comprising a nanoparticle and an inorganic capping agent bound to the surface of the nanoparticle, a method for making the same in a biphasic solvent mixture, and the formation of structures and solids from the isolable colloidal particle. The process can yield photovoltaic cells, piezoelectric crystals, thermoelectric layers, optoelectronic layers, light emitting diodes, ferroelectric layers, thin film transistors, floating gate memory devices, phase change layers, and sensor devices.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
 The invention was made with governmental support under grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation (DMR-0847535; IIP-10471801) and U.S. Department of Energy (DE-AC02-06CH11357). The U.S. government has certain rights in the invention.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
 The benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/486,595, filed May 16, 2011, is claimed, the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference in its entirety.