Surface roughness directed self-assembly of patchy particles into colloidal micelles

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Daniela J. Kraft, Ran Ni, Frank Smallenburg

"Surface roughness directed self-assembly of patchy particles into colloidal micelles"

Entry by Fei Pu, AP 225, Fall 2012

Keywords: self assembly, colloids, Monte Carlo, Micelles, Particles


This articles describes how self-assembly of colloidal particles into larger structures has potential for creating materials with unprecedented properties, such as full photonic band gaps in the visible spectrum. Colloidal particles with site-specific directional interactions, so called ``patchy particles, are promising candidates for bottom-up assembly routes.

An experimental realization of patchy colloidal particles was done based on independent surface roughness specific interactions. Smooth patches on rough colloids are shown to be exclusively attractive due to their different overlap volumes. The article discusses in detail the case of colloids with one patch that serves as a model for molecular surfactants both with respect to their geometry and their interactions. These one-patch particles assemble into clusters that resemble surfactant micelles, called ``colloidal micelles. Similarities as well as differences between the colloidal model system and molecular surfactants are also discussed and quantified by employing computational and theoretical models.

Materials and Methods


Soft Matter Connection