- Self assembly of anisotropic particles with critical Casimir forces
- Award date
- 7 July 2016
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute (WZI)
Building new materials with structures on the micron and nanoscale presents a grand challenge currently. It requires fine control in the assembly of well-designed building blocks, and understanding of the mechanical, thermodynamic, and opto-electronic properties of the resulting structures. Patchy colloidal particles with sizes from nano to micrometers provide new building blocks for tomorrow’s materials owing to the ability to control their valency and thus the architecture of the assembled structures.
This thesis presents our experimental observations of multivalent colloidal self-assembly with critical Casimir forces. This solvent-mediated force allows particle interactions to be tuned with temperature and solvent composition, without the addition of any other component. By combining our synthesized multivalent colloidal particles with critical Casimir forces we assemble these building blocks into site-specific superstructures, and then investigate the relation between the particle potential and geometry, and the aggregate morphology by real-space confocal imaging, reciprocal near-field light scattering and Monte Carlo simulations.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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