- Self-assembly via anisotropic interactions
- Modeling association kinetics of patchy particle systems and self-assembly induced by critical Casimir forces
- Award date
- 26 January 2017
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS)
Self-assembly, the non-dissipative spontaneous formation of structural order spans many length scales, from amphiphilic molecules forming micelles to stars forming galaxies. This thesis mainly deals with systems on the colloidal length scale where the size of a particle is between a nanometer and a micrometer. As such, this thesis focuses on the self-assembly of colloidal particles made in the laboratory forming supracolloidal structures in a capillary and making the link to proteins forming complexes or virus shells. Whereas retrosynthetic analysis gives a handle on how atoms form molecules and subsequently how molecules form even bigger molecules, similar design principles are lacking for assembling micrometer particles. Last decade has witnessed great advances in the synthesis of micrometer particle building blocks. It is currently possible to make colloids anisotropic in shape, or anisotropic in surface properties, so-called patchy particles. Patchy particles show great promise in the design of new building blocks, possibly applicable in novel functional materials. Moreover, patchy particles have also shown to be good models for globular proteins. This thesis discusses mainly two topics using advanced computer simulation techniques. The first part of this thesis deals with the extraction of an effective potential for anisotropic colloidal dumbbell particles interacting through the critical Casimir force. The second part deals with how the kinetics and mechanism of formation of simple colloidal or protein structures are influenced by changing the interaction between or the dynamics of patchy particles.
Thesis (complete) (Embargo until 26 January 2019)
3. Modeling critical Casimir force induced self-assembly experiments on colloidal dumbbells (Embargo until 26 January 2019)
5. The role of multivalency in the self-assembly kinetics of patchy particle complexes (Embargo until 26 January 2019)
6. The opposing effects of isotropic and anisotropic attraction on dimerisation kinetics (Embargo until 26 January 2019)
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