Colloidal particles have the right size to form ordered structures with periodicities comparable to the wavelength of visible light. The tantalizing colours of precious opals and the colour of some species of birds are examples of polycrystalline colloidal structures found in nature. Driven by the demands of several emergent technologies, efforts have been made to develop efficient, self-assembly-based methodologies for generating colloidal single crystals with well-defined morphologies. Somewhat unfortunately, these efforts are often frustrated by the formation of structures lacking long-range order. Here we show that the rational design of patch shape and symmetry can drive patchy colloids to crystallize in a single, selected morphology by structurally eliminating undesired polymorphs. We provide a proof of this concept through the numerical investigation of triblock Janus colloids. One particular choice of patch symmetry yields, via spontaneous crystallization, a pure tetrastack lattice, a structure with attractive photonic properties, whereas another one results in a colloidal clathrate-like structure, in both cases without any interfering polymorphs.

Patterning symmetry in the rational design of colloidal crystals

ROMANO, Flavio;
2012-01-01

Abstract

Colloidal particles have the right size to form ordered structures with periodicities comparable to the wavelength of visible light. The tantalizing colours of precious opals and the colour of some species of birds are examples of polycrystalline colloidal structures found in nature. Driven by the demands of several emergent technologies, efforts have been made to develop efficient, self-assembly-based methodologies for generating colloidal single crystals with well-defined morphologies. Somewhat unfortunately, these efforts are often frustrated by the formation of structures lacking long-range order. Here we show that the rational design of patch shape and symmetry can drive patchy colloids to crystallize in a single, selected morphology by structurally eliminating undesired polymorphs. We provide a proof of this concept through the numerical investigation of triblock Janus colloids. One particular choice of patch symmetry yields, via spontaneous crystallization, a pure tetrastack lattice, a structure with attractive photonic properties, whereas another one results in a colloidal clathrate-like structure, in both cases without any interfering polymorphs.
2012
3
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3672782
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