A method for size selection of nanostructures comprising utilizing a gas-expanded liquids (GEL) and controlled pressure to precipitate desired size populations of nanostructures, e.g., monodisperse. The GEL can comprise CO.sub.2 antisolvent and an organic solvent. The method can be carried out in an apparatus comprising a first open vessel configured to allow movement of a liquid/particle solution to specific desired locations within the vessel, a second pressure vessel, a location controller for controlling location of the particles and solution within the first vessel, a inlet for addition of antisolvent to the first vessel, and a device for measuring the amount of antisolvent added. Also disclosed is a method for forming nanoparticle thin films comprising utilizing a GEL containing a substrate, pressurizing the solution to precipitate and deposit nanoparticles onto the substrate, removing the solvent thereby leaving a thin nanoparticle film, removing the solvent and antisolvent, and drying the film.
This invention was made with government support under funding by the Department of Energy Basic Energy Sciences (DE-FG02-01 ER15255) and the National Science Foundation (CTS-0207781). The government may have certain rights in the invention.