Hierarchical self-assembly of 3D lattices from polydisperse anisometric colloids

Binbin Luo, Ahyoung Kim, John W. Smith, Zihao Ou, Zixuan Wu, Juyeong Kim, Qian Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Colloids are mainly divided into two types defined by size. Micron-scale colloids are widely used as model systems to study phase transitions, while nanoparticles have physicochemical properties unique to their size. Here we study a promising yet underexplored third type: anisometric colloids, which integrate micrometer and nanometer dimensions into the same particle. We show that our prototypical system of anisometric silver plates with a high polydispersity assemble, unexpectedly, into an ordered, three-dimensional lattice. Real-time imaging and interaction modeling elucidate the crucial role of anisometry, which directs hierarchical assembly into secondary building blocks—columns—which are sufficiently monodisperse for further ordering. Ionic strength and plate tip morphology control the shape of the columns, and therefore the final lattice structures (hexagonal versus honeycomb). Our joint experiment–modeling study demonstrates potentials of encoding unconventional assembly in anisometric colloids, which can likely introduce properties and phase behaviors inaccessible to micron- or nanometer-scale colloids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1815
JournalNature communications
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

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Colloids
Self assembly
colloids
self assembly
assembly
Phase Transition
Polydispersity
Phase behavior
Ionic strength
Silver
Nanoparticles
Osmolar Concentration
micrometers
coding
Joints
Phase transitions
silver
Imaging techniques
nanoparticles
interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Hierarchical self-assembly of 3D lattices from polydisperse anisometric colloids. / Luo, Binbin; Kim, Ahyoung; Smith, John W.; Ou, Zihao; Wu, Zixuan; Kim, Juyeong; Chen, Qian.

In: Nature communications, Vol. 10, No. 1, 1815, 01.12.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Luo, Binbin ; Kim, Ahyoung ; Smith, John W. ; Ou, Zihao ; Wu, Zixuan ; Kim, Juyeong ; Chen, Qian. / Hierarchical self-assembly of 3D lattices from polydisperse anisometric colloids. In: Nature communications. 2019 ; Vol. 10, No. 1.
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