Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Bottom-Up Colloidal Crystal Assembly with a Twist

Published

Author(s)

Nathan Mahynski, Lorenzo Rovigatti, Christos Likos, Athanassios Panagiotopoulos

Abstract

Globally ordered colloidal crystal lattices have broad utility in a wide range of optical and catalytic devices, for example, as photonic bandgap materials. However, the self-assembly of stereospecific structures is often confounded by polymorphism. Small free energy differences often characterize ensembles of different structures, making it difficult to produce a single morphology at will. Current techniques to handle this problem adopt one of two approaches: that of the "top- down," or "bottom-up" methodology, whereby structures are engineered starting from the largest or smallest relevant length scales, respectively. However, recently a third approach for directing high fidelity assembly of colloidal crystals has been suggested which relies on the introduction of polymer co-solutes into the crystal phase [N. A. Mahynski, et al., Nat. Commun., 2014, 5, 4472]. By tuning the polymer's morphology to interact uniquely with the void symmetry of a single desired crystal, the entropy loss associated with polymer confinement has been shown to strongly bias the formation of that phase. However, previously this approach has only been demonstrated in the limiting case of close-packed crystals. Here we show how this approach may be generalized and extended to complex open crystals, illustrating the utility of this "structure-directing agent" paradigm in engineering the nanoscale structure of ordered colloidal materials. The high degree of transferability of this paradigm's basic principles between relatively simple crystals and more complex ones suggests this represents a valuable addition to presently known self-assembly techniques.
Citation
ACS Nano

Keywords

colloids, polymers, crystal polymorphism, self-assembly, colloidal crystal, tetrastack

Citation

Mahynski, N. , Rovigatti, L. , Likos, C. and Panagiotopoulos, A. (2016), Bottom-Up Colloidal Crystal Assembly with a Twist, ACS Nano, [online], https://doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.6b01854 (Accessed June 23, 2024)

Issues

If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact reflib@nist.gov.

Created April 28, 2016, Updated November 10, 2018